What is Test Anxiety?• Type of performance anxiety• It is a psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations
Measurement Scales• State/Trait Anxiety Inventory ▫ Charles Spielberger• Westside Test Anxiety Scale ▫ Richard Driscoll• 10 item Debilitative Anxiety Scale ▫ Alpert-Haber• Reactions to Tests (RTT) Scale ▫ Irwin. G. Sarason• Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale ▫ Cassady & Johnson
Components of Test Anxiety• Physical Component (Physiological over- arousal) ▫ typical bodily reactions to acute anxiety: a knot in the stomach, wet and trembling hands, nausea or "butterflies in the stomach," tense shoulders and back of the neck, dry mouth, and pounding heart.
Components of Test Anxiety• Emotional Component (Worry & Dread) ▫ involves fear or panic ▫ Can include depression, low self-esteem, anger and a feeling of hopelessness
Components of Test Anxiety• Mental/Cognitive Component (Impairment) ▫ involve problems with attention and memory ▫ "My mind jumps from one thing to another" and "I think I am certain to fail" ▫ include fidgeting or outright avoidance of testing situations ▫ Negative self-talk
Causes of Test Anxiety• Mental causes: ▫ Students’ expectations• Biological causes: ▫ Adrenaline (flight-fight response)• For many students, it can be a combination of things... ▫ Bad study habits ▫ poor past test performance ▫ and an underlying anxiety problem can all contribute to test anxiety.
Who’s likely to have Test Anxiety?• People who worry a lot or who are perfectionists• Students who arent prepared for tests but who care about doing well are also likely to experience test anxiety
What can you do?• Before the Test ▫ Discuss test content with the instructor and classmates. ▫ Develop effective study and test preparation skills. ▫ Spread review of class material over several days rather than cramming. ▫ Intensive review should be done a few days before test. ▫ Review text, notes, and homework problems. ▫ Use 3x5 cards for learning specific concepts or formulas. ▫ Take a practice test under exam-like conditions. ▫ Continue regular exercise program. ▫ Get sufficient rest and nutrition.
What can you do?• During the Test ▫ Read the directions carefully. ▫ Budget your test taking time. ▫ Change positions to help you relax. ▫ If you go blank, skip the question and go on. ▫ If youre taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind. ▫ Dont panic when students start handing in their papers. Theres no reward for being the first done.
What can you do?• After the Test ▫ Try not to dwell on all the mistakes you might have made. ▫ Do not immediately begin studying for the next test ▫ Indulge in something relaxing for a little while.