How to manage anxiety about asking questions in class?

This blog answers: How to manage anxiety about asking questions in class? What are some other ways to manage anxiety about asking questions in class? What are the therapy options for anxiety about asking questions in class?

How to manage anxiety about asking questions in class?

Some ways to manage anxiety about asking a question in class are:

Don’t be scared of looking dumb

Many students experience anxiety about asking questions in class because they fear appearing dumb in front of other students and their teachers as well. 

Students must understand that asking questions does not make them dumb rather not knowing the answer to their doubts might make them less aware of a particular topic.

Students must acknowledge the fact that every student differs from each other and their ability to grasp knowledge and retain it hence it is OK to ask questions in class to get a better understanding of a particular concept than staying unaware of it.

Understand that you lose nothing

To feel less anxious about asking questions in class students must understand that they lose absolutely nothing in asking a few questions to their teachers or their peers. 

Individuals must understand that rather than losing something it takes up great courage to stand up and ask a few questions openly.

Start small

Students who experience a high level of anxiety might find it impossible to ask questions openly in class. In such situations, students must start small. In that they can begin by asking their doubts outside of class hours to their teachers, asking questions to their very close friends such that their fear of judgment and rejection is very minimal.

Once they gain confidence and feel comfortable asking questions to their mentors and close friends group they can think about asking questions openly in front of other students when required.

Ask for further clarification

In situations where students experience extreme fear about asking questions in class, they can always ask for clarification after class hours to their mentors without anybody knowing about it if that is what is discomforting them.

Students must understand that a sense of clarity on a particular topic or idea is very necessary for them to retain it for longer and also have a strong foundation for a particular topic. Thus clarifying personally is much better than hesitation and avoidance.

Take control of yourself

Students must actively remind themselves that they are responsible for their thoughts and actions. Many times it’s the student themselves who have a negative thought pattern about speaking openly in class in that they feel that they might be looked down upon or embarrassed for their low understanding power even when they are in a very supportive environment.

Hence students must actively change their thought processes which in turn change their emotions and behaviors. Thinking positively will lead to positive behavior and reduce the amount of anxiety they experience while asking questions in class.

Improve the quality of your question

In situations where students fear asking questions in class, they can also write down their questions in ways that are well formulated in advance. Making a note of the questions that they want to ask their friends or teachers can also help them maintain track of what they require without missing out on the points and questions.

Practice asking questions

Apart from improving the quality of the questions and preparing them beforehand, individuals can also try practicing these questions when they are alone. This also gives them an extra sense of confidence when they openly ask them in class reducing the amount of anxiety they experience.

Maintain and monitor feelings journal

Students who experience anxiety about asking questions in class can also try and maintain a feelings journal. In this journal, they can write the feelings that they experience each time they ask a question in class and regulate them accordingly using self-help strategies and methods of cognitive reconstruction where negative thoughts are replaced with more positive ones.

Individuals can also use self-reinforcement when they see variations in their feelings or levels of anxiety after asking questions in class following a self-help tool.

What are some other ways to manage anxiety about asking questions in class?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques


Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.



A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety about asking questions in class?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which a student is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the student gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, students get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting a student can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some students also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 


Experiencing anxiety about asking questions in class is natural and experienced by many students at some point in time. However, when these anxieties are very extreme it might hamper individuals’ growth and development academically and personally.

Hence students must identify their triggers and concerns and work towards resolving them actively using various self-help strategies and therapy options when required.

Frequently asked questions: How to manage anxiety about asking questions in class?

How do I get over the fear of asking questions in class?

When a student has a question to ask in class, they can write them down on paper. After the class, they can ask these questions to their teacher in cases where they experience extreme anxiety about asking questions in class openly.

How can I stop being scared to ask my teacher?

Students feel scared to ask questions to their teacher in class openly they can always talk to their teachers personally after class hours. Fear of talking to teachers might result from various reasons such as past negative experiences, you’re being judged and humiliated or the fear of not being understood.

Can teachers tell if a student has anxiety?

There are various ways in which teachers can identify anxious students. This comes from their prior experience in dealing with anxious students or due to their basic understanding of behavior.

Why do I feel anxious in class?

Many students might feel anxious in class due to various reasons such as:

  • New environment
  • Fear of competition
  • Fear of being judged
  • Fear of being noticed
  • Avoiding being in the spotlight
  • Fear of making a mistake
  • Fear of interacting with students and teachers