Avoiding Test Anxiety We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face...we must do that which we think we cannot. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Objectives Define Test Anxiety. Identify two causes of Test Anxiety. External and Internal. Coping with Test Anxiety: Stage 1 - Before the Test. Stage 2 - During the Test. Stage 3 - After the Test.
What is Anxiety?
What is Anxiety? The two “F” words: Fear + Frustration = Feeling threatened. Feeling threatened is what causes anxiety. Anxiety may cause to you experience perspiration (sweat), a rapid pulse, and/or a headache. Anxiety can be positive – can alert you to things that are important. Anxiety is a reaction to stress, it is a normal human behavior.
Test Anxiety: Causes
Test Anxiety: Internal Causes Fear of: Embarrassmentfrom sub-par results on the test. Failure - and possibly continued failure. Loss of Control – feeling like whatever you do, that nothing seems to help.
Test Anxiety: External Causes Lack of: Good study habits – causing you to feel unfamiliar with the content. Organizational skills – not knowing where to start when studying. Time management – not taking the time to study until it’s too late.
Coping with Test Anxiety
Coping with Test Anxiety – Stage 1 Before the Test: Focus on organization, study skills and time management. (see Managing Your Time and Study Skills and Strategies online workshops on the TRiO blackboard.) Reduce interruptions. (i.e. step away from the iPhone, facebook, etc.) Expect anxiety – don’t let it take you by surprise. Avoid negative self thinking. (use positive thoughts) Breathe.
Coping with Test Anxiety – Stage 2 During the test. Shift focus to the test and the here and now. Focusing on what you could have done will not help. Use relaxation strategies: Breathe & pause. Close your eyes. Count from 1-10. Stretch. Use positive self talk– not aloud but in your mind/to yourself. Let yourself know that you’re doing your best.
Coping with Test Anxiety – Stage 3 After the test. Focus on future: what’s done is done. There will be other tests. If you did not get a good grade, don’t panic, but also don’t wait. Make an appointment to see your instructor as soon as possible. Ask specific questions: i.e. – which questions you got wrong, what can you study for the next test, etc. Know what you can do to help grade – look over your syllabus, note important assignments and get as much credit for them as you can. Identify what worked, and repeat it!
Dealing with Test Anxiety: It’s Normal – expect it. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Do not wait to ask for help. Breathe. Know that anxiety can be managed, if you choose to do so.