Exam Panic Attack (How to cope)

– A complete guide to deal with a panic attack during an exam

In this guide, we will discuss what is a panic attack and how can affect a person in an exam situation.

Exam Panic Attack

One of the most used forms of evaluation in school and university settings in the exam.

An exam is a tool that allows the person to know various aspects of a subject, guided according to the learning that the person is intended to achieve.

When a person takes an exam, it is through a points method if the correct answer was obtained, it happens to have a grade.

Everyone who is in a study environment will be subject at some point in their student career to receive an exam.

The person taking an exam wants to do it right. Getting a good grade represents positive feelings for the person taking the test.

The person feels that has reached a goal and is doing well.

For anyone taking an exam, feeling that they have obtained the necessary score to pass or the most outstanding will always be a reason for joy.

There are some reasons why a person gets to pass an exam.

A person who has studied and feels confident will have a good chance of passing an exam.

Prior preparation is one of the keys to success in an exam. Being confident is also important.

Some people have studied and have mastery of the subject and at the time of taking the exam, lack of confidence and insecurity can take control of them and cause them to fail in the exam.

Failing an exam is normal. There are factors of which the person has no control at the time of the evaluation, which can play against and cause the person not to pass the exam.

Failure to pass an exam does not represent that the person is incorrect or does not have the skills or knowledge evaluated by the exam, sometimes other aspects influence when not passing the exam.

Some people are afraid of exams. This fear is so big that one could say that the person has an exam panic attack.

A person with an exam panic attack is someone who has an intense fear or fear of the exam.

The moments before the exam are horrible. The person cannot stop thinking about what the exam will have.

Imagine the whole picture in the worst possible way and are already thinking that you will fail without having taken the exam. 

When the person who has an exam panic attack is facing the test, their fears increase.

This panic attack can last about 10 or 30 minutes. Fear consumes the body, excessive sweating begins due to nerves, suffers headaches and in the end, in many cases, fails to complete the exam.

The fear of not responding correctly, to put a word in the place that was not going or to think that will get a low grade makes the person stop at the time of taking the exam.

After a person who has an exam panic attack leaves an exam, it starts thinking about everything that happened.

The person repents and begins to see that was aware of everything that was written on the paper.

Feels bad about not writing anything and fears for the results to come.

There are people with exam panic attack who have come to give up their studies due to the intense fear they feel for evaluations.

Thinking about taking an exam is the worst thing that can go through the mind of a person with exam panic attack. 

A person can develop exam panic attack for several reasons.

Cultural aspects such as the family and the surrounding environment where they exert a very strong pressure on the person to be the most outstanding.

Where they do not accept a low rating and if the person obtains it, it can be a reason for rejection by the family.

As the person wants they loved ones to be proud, it puts all focus on studying everything he can to pass the exam and gets to the point that the thoughts are filled with the fear of failing that of the positive feeling of passing an exam.

Another reason why a person can develop an exam panic attack is because of some experience where it took an exam or obtained a bad grade.

Each person reacts differently to situations they consider difficult in life.

For many, failing the exam is a motivation to study more and get a better grade or pass, for others it may be the beginning of living with a constant fear of failing an exam in the future.

Having another type of fear can lead to the person also developing exam panic attack.

People with phobias like Panphobia, which is the fear of everything, can trigger the panic attack exam.

A panic attack can interfere negatively in a person’s life, depriving them of doing the things they want to do to achieve their goals.

Knowing about panic attacks will help the person know if they are going through one and seek the right help to overcome it.

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is characterized by abrupt access of discomfort or intense fear.

It can appear at any time even the person not being exposed to a situation of fear.

The duration of the panic attack ranges from 10 to 30 minutes, although in some cases attacks of one hour have been seen.

A person experiencing a panic attack feels a deep fear for no apparent reason.

According to DSM V, 13 symptoms may be present in a panic disorder.

The concurrence of a minimum of 4 symptoms is required to make the diagnosis.

The most common symptoms that a person with a panic attack presents are: sweating, fear of dying, palpitations, fear of fainting or losing control, chest pain, dizziness, discomfort, nausea, sensations of cold or heat, numbness of limbs, tingling sensation and choking.

After the person suffers a panic attack, one of their fears is to have it again due to how horrible the experience was.

Research indicates that 3 out of 100 people will suffer from panic disorders at some time in their life.

This problem is more common in women than in men.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 6 million people had any symptoms related to that of a panic attack and about one million suffer specifically from the disorder.

Treatment for panic attacks includes the combination of behavioural, cognitive therapy and meditation.

The goal of these therapies is to help the person understand the origin of their fears and be able to be more relaxed when the disorder can occur.

What to do before the sensation of an exam panic attack

When a person feels they are having a panic attack due to an exam, the first thing is to seek help.

Many times the person believes that the solution is to avoid the situation generated by the panic attack.

Each person reacts differently to life situations, some can handle it for themselves and others need help to take that step.

In this case, that the person seeks professional help is one of the best solutions to face the fear that feels.

The health professional will help the person discover the fear it feels towards the exams.

Knowing the causes will serve to provide the person with a more personalized treatment.

The cognitive therapies used have given good results and the person can be positive that the results will help lose the intense fear he has towards the exams.

Other solutions that a person can take to eliminate the exam panic attack is to work in their confidence.

Many times the fear comes because the person thinks it will not be able to pass the exam.

The person thinks it has not studied enough or is not able to pass.

The person must understand that if it prepares appropriately for the exam it will pass it, it is a matter of working and creating a strategy that allows obtaining the desired results.

The person can also create a study guide. The exam panic attack can also occur because the person thinks they did not study enough for the exam.

Creating a work program will help the person focus more on their studies and will give excellent results on the exam.

Practising meditation for a few minutes before the exam helps the person to clear up any fear they have in their mind that they will fail.

Exams can cause some anxiety and to some extent it is normal.

Meditation will help the person to be calmer and better cope with the exam situation.

A positive attitude also helps decrease the symptoms of the panic attack exam.

Understanding that a test result does not define a person helps eliminate the weight a person can carry on their shoulders.

Sometimes people pass and fail, but an exam will not define who it is.

Failure should be seen as a motivation to continue giving more and achieve the proposed objectives.

How can I deal with panic attacks before an exam?

Performing activities such as stress management strategies, accepting mistakes, establishing healthy habits and lifestyle changes are some of the actions that can be implemented to deal with the panic attack exam.

Is a panic attack dangerous?

Although panic attacks may feel like a heart attack or other serious condition, that is not going to cause death to a person.

But that this does not cause death does not mean that they should not be treated.

What can a person do after a panic attack?

After the panic attack, the person should relax and breathe to calm down after the situation.

Eating and drinking something, talking with someone and reflecting are other actions a person can do to relax and eliminate the symptoms that left the attack.

Is it normal to have an exam panic attack?

Feeling anxious about an exam is normal for many students.

The fear of not approving is constant, but in many cases, it does not interfere with the person’s life.

When this fear becomes intense and interferes with the performance that the person may have on the test, a panic attack is talked about and is not normal, so the person should try to find the solution to overcome the problem.

Should a person go to the doctor if they feel a panic attack?

If a person feels symptoms such as chest pains, they should go to the doctor to rule out that the pain is not due to a physical condition.

It is important to identify the symptoms that accompany a panic attack.


Having an exam panic attack is common in several students, but this should not be a reason for a person to be ashamed, but to seek help.

The desire to pass and get good grades should not be moved by fear of failure.

Pass or fail an exam should not represent a life or death situation for the person.

Getting good grades or performing well on an exam requires an effort on the part of the person.

The person must have confidence in everything it does and this influences to obtain good results in the exam.

  1. Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks 
  2. The Exam Nerve Cure – How To Beat Examination Nerves And Test Anxiety To Give Your Peak Performance
  1. Panic ATTACKS During Exams 
  2. Managing Anxiety and Panic during exams