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RETA NMTA Test Anxiety PPT

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  • 1. Beating Test Anxiety: Through Test Preparation & During Test Taking
  • 2. What is test anxiety?
    • Definition: worry or tension which affects performance such that the outcome does not accurately reflect the level of knowledge
    • Signs of test anxiety:
      • Sweaty palms – Butterflies in stomach
      • Racing heart – Inability to concentrate
      • Loss of memory
  • 3. Why too much anxiety can occur.
    • Too much priority on the grade or outcome
    • Use exams to judge oneself
    • External locus of control – exam is in control over you instead of you controlling the exam
    • Lack of preparation or lack of test taking skills
  • 4. Three Ways to Handle Anxiety
    • Prevention
      • Test preparation
      • Test Taking Techniques
    • Cognitive Strategies to change how you think
    • Physical Strategies
      • Learning how to breathe
      • Relaxation techniques
  • 5. Prevention: Test Preparation
    • Plan a study schedule
      • Organize your time, find the BEST time to study for YOU.
      • Next test Date January 21, 2006: Approx. 8 weeks to study as of this week.
    • Practice taking the test
      • Helps you feel comfortable with questions you may see on the actual assessment.
      • Also, helps you reinforce information you should know for the Teacher Comp.
  • 6. Prevention: Test Preparation continued…
    • Night before & Day of Test…
      • Know where test site is and how to get there (LC: Onate).
      • Prepare paperwork & i.d. night before
      • Exercising for a few days before the test will help reduce stress.
      • Get a good night's sleep before the test.
      • Eat a light breakfast before taking the test and don’t drink coffee if you usually don’t.
      • Arrive early.
  • 7. Prevention: General Test Taking Techniques
    • Read through the test, get familiar with it.
    • Answer questions you are sure of first - skip the ones you are not sure of, other questions on the test may clue you in on the answer for past questions that you skipped.
      • Always make sure you marked what questions you have skipped and never leave them blank, guess if you have to.
    • Use all available time-don’t worry about other people getting up and finishing early.
  • 8. Prevention: Test Taking Techniques Multiple Choice Questions
    • Tips on answering multiple choice questions:
    • Go through the whole test a least once before beginning.
    • Read the question carefully, make sure you understand what you are being asked and specifically look out for the word 'NOT' in the question.
    • Read all the choices before choosing your answer.
    • Make sure you read through every answer even if you are sure the first or second is correct.
    • Don’t second guess yourself, usually your first choice is the right one.
  • 9. Prevention: Test Taking Techniques Essay Questions
    • Tips on Answering Essay Questions:
    • Read the directions carefully.
    • Make sure that you understand what the question is asking you.
    • Make sure that you write down everything that is asked of you and more.
    • When writing your essay, try to be as neat as possible
    • Make an outline before writing your essay. This way your essay will be more organized and fluid.
    • Budget your time, give yourself enough time to proofread your work.
  • 10. Cognitive Strategies
    • Five Categories of Distracting Thoughts
      • Worrying about performance – comparing self to others
      • Ruminating over alternative answers – 2 nd guessing
      • Pre-Occupied with bodily functions – sweating, shaking, stomach ache
      • Obsessing over possible negative consequences – “I’ll never pass, get a degree, get a job”
      • Thoughts and feelings of inadequacy –
        • “ I’m stupid, should have studied more…”
  • 11. Control Negative Damaging Thoughts
    • Attention Control – focusing on one thing at a time, directing our attention.
    • Positive Self Talk – I can do this because I am prepared and I know what to expect on this test.
    • Not-Me – this stress and these feelings are not me, this anxiety is not who I am, so I will not let it effect me on this test.
  • 12. Physical Strategies
    • Breathing
      • Tendency to hyperventilate when anxious
        • Only using top 1/3 of lungs
        • Shallow breathing
        • Less oxygen to brain = less concentration
      • Bottom 1/3 of lungs (and diaphragm) has most blood vessels, delivers most oxygen
      • Breathe slowly and deeply through stomach to
        • Settle thoughts, calm the mind
        • Regain control of attention and focus
  • 13. Physical Strategies
    • Yogic Breathing
      • Inhale, hold breath, and exhale in a ratio of 1:4:2 rhythm
      • Inhale (through nose) 2 seconds, hold for 8 seconds, exhale (out mouth) for 4 seconds
      • Count the seconds in your mind
      • This oxygenates the blood, creates more energy
  • 14. Visualizations
    • Palming Method
      • Cup your hands and close your eyes
      • Cover eyes with cupped hands (no pressure)
      • Keep out the light
      • Picture favorite scene or place
        • Really look around, look at what is in the foreground, what is in the distance of your scene, now scan to the sides of your scene, what do you see? Really look at the detail of what you are imagining.
  • 15. Progressive Relaxation
    • Tense and relax each muscle group
    • Shoulders, arms, back, stomach, face
    • Say or intentionally think “relax” as you relax each muscle group
    • Soon body learns to associate the word with the actual movement
    • You can then think “relax” and your body responds
    • It takes practice and time to train body
  • 16. Beating Test Anxiety: Through Test Preparation & During Test Taking Rose Villarreal Learning Skills Facilitator Center for Learning Assistance New Mexico State University (505) 646-3136