Test Anxiety

Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety provides therapy and psychoeducational testing for the treatment of Test Anxiety.

Test anxiety is more than just nervousness about a test. Test-anxious students react to evaluative situations with a heightened level of anxiety that triggers the fight or flight response (physiological arousal), interferes with thinking (mental disorganization), and increases tension (muscles tightening). Like test anxiety, sport anxiety can also be experienced similarly.  

The fight-or-flight response triggers the physiological arousal, which can include increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, muscles tightening, digestive/stomach issues, shaking/trembling, feeling faint, and if unchecked, can lead to a panic attack. The physiological arousal is connected to a fear of failure.

Threat cues are prioritized in cognition. When a person experiences a fear of failure and is in fight or flight mode, their mind is focused on the threat. The mental space to focus on the task at hand is overtaken by intrusive thoughts and negative core beliefs (e.g., “I can’t think”, “I’m gonna fail”, “Others are looking at me”, “I’m shaking”, “I can’t write”, “Everyone else is taking the test fine”, “If I don’t pass, I won’t make it”, “If I don’t hurry, I won’t make it”, “I’m running out of time”, "This always happens", "It's never going to change", “It’s not fair”). 

Test-anxious students are more likely to study and prepare -- in fact, their anxiety may cause them to over-prepare; they have a strong desire and motivation to do well. When they don’t perform well, they are left confused, ashamed, and their worries snowball into increased fear for the future. Their feelings of shame and negative experiences with test-taking can build up and chip away at their self confidence. They may choose alternative educational paths as a result, giving up on their desired career. 

Test anxiety has been reported to affect 15-20% (1 of 5-7) of students (Ergene, 2003). Unfortunately, the shame felt by students with test anxiety may deter them from seeking help, even though test anxiety is treatable. At ATS for Anxiety, we use evidence-based anxiety reduction strategies that include a combination of behavioral, cognitive, and skill-focused techniques to yield the most effective results in reducing test anxiety.

Call now for a free 30-min Consultation

Test Anxiety can also occur with other conditions, such as ADHD or a specific learning disability. You may be entitled to testing accommodations at school and for standardized tests (e.g., ACT, SAT, MCAT, GRE, etc.). To qualify for special accommodations, a psychoeducational testing report needs to be summitted to the testing committee reviewing your application. Click below to learn more. 

Psychoeducational Testing for Accommodations

Questions? View FAQs View Insurance Information

Clinical Procedures for Test Anxiety Evaluation and Outpatient Treatment

Free Phone Intake Consultation

Up to 30-min phone consultation so we can hear about your presenting issue, the symptoms you are experiencing, when they started, the severity of symptoms, and if we are the appropriate place for your treatment. The diagnostic intake process is discussed, and your insurance/billing questions are answered. If the treatment you need is within our scope of services, we begin the scheduling process. If it is deemed that we are not the appropriate place, we will provide you with referrals and resources to help you. We want to make sure to connect you with services, and that includes helping you find treatment elsewhere if that's what you need.



Diagnostic Evaluation

A 90-min diagnostic intake interview with the child’s parents to assess symptoms, collect history, review systems (school, home, community), differential diagnosis, review of prior records, review parents’ families psychiatric histories, and follow up/clarify any questions that arose from reviewing the questionnaires parents/child/teen filled out before the intake session.

Starting at 295

CPT CODE: 90791

Adolescent Intake Interview

A 60-min interview with the adolescent allows us to hear their perspective. Symptoms are assessed, and may include additional questionnaires for diagnostic clarification, allowing us to define a baseline. Interventions are tested out and discussed, using an age-appropriate model, to assess the adolescent's motivation and response to intervention for treatment planning purposes.

Starting at 195

CPT CODE: 90837

Parent Feedback Session, Guidance, and Treatment Planning

A 1-hour feedback session with parents is held which includes presenting diagnoses, symptom severity, diagnostic rule outs, and discussing the recommended treatment plan. Parents are asked for their specific goals for their teen and what they hope to gain from treatment at ATSA. Decisions are made as to whether the teen will start with therapy sessions only, allowing for the future addition of psychopharmacological treatment as an adjunct, or whether to start with combined treatment (or in rare cases to start with psychopharmacological treatment before CBT). Parents will be provided guidance on the behavioral techniques to implement at home and in the community with their child, to help maintain and generalize treatment gains. Parents are provided feedback about their child’s behavioral challenges and gains from the initial assessment sessions, and the specific techniques that will be used to successfully help their child overcome his/her specific barriers in the exposure process. Throughout treatment, parents are provided with additional feedback sessions to discuss next steps, including help with transfer of skills outside of the clinic setting.

Starting at 195

CPT CODE: 90846

Adolescent Exposure Therapy Clinic Session

60 min exposure sessions to present the adolescent with the phobic stimulus and begin the process of fear extinction. The key to exposure therapy is to activate new learning, which is done by presenting the adolescent with the phobic stimulus, and assisting the adolescent to approach (vs avoid) the stimulus, using a hierarchical approach. Motivational interviewing may be applied to foster rapport and trust in preparation for exposures, particularly when exposures become more challenging as we move up the hierarchy. Parents are also taught how to facilitate approach coping and reduce enabling avoidance. We will use modeling, shaping, corrective feedback, and contingent reinforcement with adolescent and parents. Our data show that when parents are involved in treatment, gains are more likely to transfer into the home and community settings.

Starting at 175

CPT CODE: 90837

Call now for a 30-min Consultation



Contact Us