You are on page 1of 4


In the Case of Katya

Xochitl Solis
Health Education 22
Professor Apfi
April 1, 2016


The Scenario
The case study surrounds a young woman named Katya who is struggling with crippling
test anxiety. She has low self- confidence, though has an average grade point average as a college
freshman. The severity of her test anxiety has only intensified as the semester has passed and she
must create some form of solution prior to her upcoming chemistry exam.
As a college student it is easy to identify with Katya’s situation. Often the pressure to
succeed and fulfill expectations, whether set by oneself or another, can create additional stress
often leading to physiological symptoms, a panic attack in Katya’s case. Though not in the same
branch of education, when I first entered high school as a freshman I struggled with intense
feelings. Being late for a class, even if by a minute, sent me into a panic and anything less than
an “A”, felt insufficient. It was expectedly an unhappy period of time. It took long period of
self-reflection to redirect the energy used to worry to shift from grade to the knowledge attained.
It is not about the class it is about the content of the class, focusing on this became integral in
developing a healthier mindset in regards to school.
If I were Katya, seeking professional help may be a necessity. Test anxiety is an ongoing
problem, and has only worsened as time has passed. Given that a major event, her chemistry
exam is nearing faster than she feel she can prepare, and having suffered from a panic attack, the
best advice she can receive is from a health care professional. Even speaking to the school
psychologist before her exam can help improve her state of mind, as she will receive some
assistance working through her issue. She may require additional counseling in order to create a
long lasting change, so as to develop the tools necessary to cope with her anxiety. There are of


course long term repercussions for not directly confronting her anxiety. Her personal
relationships and even her memory can be effected by the large amount of stress she is placing
upon herself to succeed.
Aside from seeking professional assistance there are also many techniques Katya should
try to reduce her stress. Donatelle (2015) recommends everything from adjusting personal
reflection to even doing physical activities. In Katya’s case, she feels pressure to maintain a
certain grade point average in order to maintain her scholarship eligibility. However, if instead
shifting her personal focus toward the content rather than the grade she may feel a better sense of
satisfaction. Utilizing self-talk and reassuring herself that she will pass the class may also be
beneficial. Reducing stress by going for a run or even talking to a support network will also
provide additional foundation in improving her testing anxiety (pp.84-87). In addition before a
test Katya could utilize the “P.E.A.C.E.” method (Solar, 2013, pp.44-48.). Memorizing the
acronym and placing it into practice would assist Katya cope with her testing anxiety. Beginning
first by taking a moment to stop whatever she is doing and simply take a deep breath. After she
steadies her breathing, the “E” in “.P.E.A.C.E.”, she must acknowledge how she is feeling, and
deciding what her ultimate goal is, or rather what is he goal for college. Finally, she can face the
test she has prepared for.
Katya is not alone in her struggle to succeed in school. Though she may find methods on
her own to cope with her test anxiety, it would ultimately be for the best if she consulted a
healthcare professional. Most schools provide support for students, especially in regards to
stress, and it would be in Katya’s best interest to take advantage of the programs at her school.


Donatelle, R.J. (2015). Health: The Basics. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings.

Solar, E. (2013). An Alternative Approach to Behavior Interventions: Mindfulness- Based Stress
Reduction. Beyond Behavior, 22, 44-48. Retrieved from