Cognitive symptoms of academic anxiety can be:
- Feelings of worry before an exam
- Intrusive thoughts about failure that make it difficult to focus on schoolwork
- Difficulties remembering information even after studying (“going blank”)
Relaxation techniques like those listed above can be beneficial for managing cognitive symptoms as well, though there are additional things you can do to reframe this worry:
- Practice positive self-talk and eliminate negative/critical self-talk
- Learn healthy coping habits (healthy vs. unhealthy coping)
- Learn stress management techniques
- Practice time-management and organization skills (This is an important one!)
- Practice study skills, like learning how to take notes and use a planner
Procrastination and feeling the need to avoid work (by putting it off altogether or working on a smaller, unrelated task) is a common example of behavioral symptoms of academic anxiety. The above tips can help alleviate these symptoms as well. One of the most effective things to try if you are experiencing these symptoms is to build a system for yourself by practicing organizational skills, which can increase your feelings of ‘preparedness’ before exams or projects.
For Ball State Students: The academic coaches in the BSU Learning Center can give you one-on-one assistance with building study skills and organization if you aren’t sure where to start!