Taking a test can be scary for anyone, especially if you have not finished studying or have to take several tests in one day. Testophobia is the irrational fear of taking tests that is different from the usual anxiety that one feels when taking a test because this can develop into a full-blown panic attack, and can cause one to fail the test or be too scared to finish the test.
A person with this phobia might have experienced failing in a test and was punished for it or was made to repeat a year in school. Also, this phobia might have been triggered by the fact that failing a test can make or break your future. This is especially true if you are taking an entrance exam to the college of your dreams, or maybe taking your licensure examination.
Most of these people are unable to overcome the initial anxiety that most people feel when they start taking at test. They exhibit symptoms of anxiety such as palpitations, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and feeling of dread or impending doom when taking a test. They usually do not finish on time or do not finish the test at all. Some may get sick right before taking an exam.
Treatment includes behavioral modification and cognitive therapy. One is taught that getting anxious before an exam is normal for most people and that failing a test is not the end of the world. Medications are not usually given because most anti-anxiety medications cause drowsiness thus they are not able to take the exam.