What is Test Anxiety? Test anxiety is excessive stress that hinders a person’s ability to perform well before and/or during a test. Test anxiety can exhibit its presence in physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral forms.
Sources of Test Anxiety:1. Under-preparedness “I am nervous about this test because I did not have enough time to study or review.”2. Past Experiences “I did not do well on the last test, so this probably will not be any different.”3. Fear of Failure “I am so worried that my grades will disappoint my parents.”4. Poor test-taking skills “I have never been a good test-taker and I don’t know how to take tests or answer different kinds of questions.”
Strategies to use Before a Test: Set learning goals Improve motivation Use ongoing review Make summary notes Recognize your Predict test questions strengths Use effective study Use Look-Away strategies Techniques (like Use positive self-talk Cornell Notes) Recite and use Mentally rehearse feedback from others Use schedules Create plans of action Use affirmations Review with a partner.
Strategies to use During a Test: If you go blank and are unable to recall the needed information use a quick relaxation technique to calm yourself, use positive self-talk, and go into retrieval mode. Do not stay stuck on the question. If your eyes start jumping from the printed line or skip over words when you read, use your arm, a blank index card, or blank piece of paper to block off the rest of the test and use your pencil to point to each word as you read. If you notice yourself making excessive careless mistakes in selecting the correct answer, slow down, activate your auditory channel for memory by mouthing or quietly whispering the words as you read, highlight key words, and check to ensure your answer relates to the key words. If your mind shifts away from the test and your concentration begins fading quickly, become more active and interactive with the test by circling directions and highlighting key words, and use positive self-talk and force yourself to keep your eyes on the test.
Sources: Szarlan, John, Suman Singha, and Scott Brown. Striving For Excellence: A Manual for Goal Achievement. Boston: Pearson, 2011. Print. Wong, Linda. Essential Study Skills. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Print. www.studygs.net/tstprp8.htm
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