Topic Progress:

How anxiety impacts learning

It’s difficult to learn and to retain new information—or access previous learning—when our brain is focused on what it needs to do to survive. Anxiety can hijack or redirect attention, making completing tasks, recalling information and solving problems much more challenging. Fluctuating levels of anxiety can mean that students perform inconsistently, doing well on tasks one day and doing poorly the next, or doing well in some situations or with some people, and poorly with others. This can be frustrating for educators, who may be inclined to think the student is being lazy or is disengaged.

The neurological and physiological effects of anxiety lead to avoidance behaviours, perfectionism, aggression, decreased attention span, and exhaustion (from being hyper-alert to possible threats), making it difficult for students to engage in academic and social activities.

How Anxiety Impacts Learning

You can download this information in a PDF.

Scroll to Top