Taking the ASWB Exam: Managing Anxiety


Testing can produce various levels of anxiety among test takers. There are some individuals who become almost paralyzed by the thought of having to take a test. Some test takers may have trouble even beginning to study for an exam because of anticipation of a failing grade or a becoming overwhelmed in the amount of material that needs to be studied. Other people may have no issues with studying, but the act of taking the test creates a sense of panic and stress. It may also be due to inability to concentrate while in the room with others or feeling the pressure of being able to finish on time.

While some individuals have been dealing with test anxiety since they were in grade school, others may only experience this feeling when they are taking a rather large standardized test, such as the ASWB exam. The best way to prepare is to assess and understand your fears so that you can develop and practice coping skills to help you manage your specific fears and concerns.

If you are having trouble even getting started in the studying process, you may need to figure out what is blocking you. Oftentimes test anxiety that expresses itself in the study stage is related to preconceived ideas about the difficulty level of the test, your perceived ability to pass the test, or any transference from past struggles with standardized testing. Take some time to sit back and recognize any unrealistic automatic thinking that is putting a damper on your ability to sit down and study. Once you have an idea of what thoughts are causing you the anxiety, you then have the choice as to how to manage them and what thoughts you can use to replace any unproductive thinking.

If you’re able to study for the ASWB exam but often experience anxiety upon entering the testing room, figure out what it is that is making you worry. It could be the pressure of having to finish the test within the time constraints. If this is the case, one of the best solutions is to repeatedly practice taking the test with a timer to condition yourself to feel more comfortable under the conditions. Anxiety could also come from being in a testing setting. A good idea to help with this issue is to find a similar setting to practice your test. Create an environment that is as similar to the ASWB testing environment as possible. This too will help you get used to being in that type of atmosphere while taking the test and should make the experience a little more comfortable. Practicing questions similar to those on the ASWB exam will also help to alleviate any stress about not knowing the format or material that will be covered. Check out the Interactive ASWB Practice Exam on our website at www.socialworkguide.com to start practicing for the exam and put your mind at ease.

January 5, 2016

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