Test anxieties rise sharply in grades 2–4, and remain high during middle school and high school. Test anxiety presents a serious academic impairment on all grade levels, from elementary school through higher education. Teenagers tend to rate “schoolwork” and “exams” as the major source of worry and stress in their lives.
Although estimates vary, about 20% of students appear to have truly “high” or “severe” anxiety while another 16% of students might be considered to have “moderately high” test anxiety. An estimated 10 million children are affected in North America alone. And test anxieties appear to be increasing in step with the increased national emphasis on standardized testing.