Relieving Test Anxiety Lunch and Learn Student Success
Have you ever……worried so much over an exam that you’ve lost sleep orskipped meals?…studied so much for a test that during the exam periodyour mind goes blank?…felt extremely nervous or had shortness of breath during atest?…worried about the grade or the questions from a test afteryou’ve taken it? Then you were suffering from Test-Anxiety!
Test AnxietyTest anxiety is the worry, uneasiness, or fear experiencedbefore, during, or after a test. • Any tension, apprehension, or feelings of worry or fear are considered to be test anxiety. • Test anxiety is not just before a test as most of us think. It is very common to experience similar anxiety during and for hours and even days after a test.
Test AnxietyTest anxiety may cause mental distraction, physical symptoms, ormental blocks. • Mental distraction.- You may be unable to concentrate and may be easily distracted by noise, uncomfortable temperatures, and even people walking by. • Physical symptoms- You may fidget and have “butterflies” in your stomach, a quickened heart rate or breathing, nausea, sweaty palms, or a headache. • Mental blocks- You may be unable to think effectively about studying for and taking the test. Test anxiety manifests itself differently in everybody.
Test AnxietyBelieve it or not, every student who takes a test experiences someform of test anxiety. • This is a normal reaction. Everybody should and will feel a little anxiety before a test because they know tests are important and they want to do well.Although everyone experiences it, every student does not react thesame to test anxiety. • Some students sense the nerves and the competition and feel the test is a place to excel and show their knowledge. • Other students sense the nerves and the competition of a test and feel threatened that they will not do well or that others will do better.
Test Anxiety Whos Likely to Have Test Anxiety?1. People who worry a lot or who are perfectionists are more likely to have trouble with test anxiety.2. Students who arent prepared for tests but who care about doing well are also likely to experience test anxiety.
Test AnxietyTest anxiety is a powerful weapon if unleashed and a destructiveforce if uncontrolled. • The nervous feeling before a test is a very powerful motivator. In order to alleviate the feeling, you are forced to study and work hard to become prepared for a test. • However, it can be destructive if uncontrolled. If you do nothing before a test it may get worse, and if you are too concerned with doing well you can over study the material, skip out on friends and meals, and lose sleep.Test-anxious students may do poorly on an exam even if they knowthe material better than classmates who are able to control theiranxiety.
Controlling Test AnxietyPreparation Pressure Attitude
PreparationThe single biggest relief for test anxiety is the proper preparation fora test. • You have to study to do well on tests.Preparation for a test includes more than just the necessary studying. • Attend as many of your classes as possible. You won’t have to worry about missing any notes or information about the test. • Be an active classroom participant. Ask questions when you don’t understand the professor. It’s much less stressful to ask now than it is right before the test! • Be kind to yourself. Eat and sleep before the test so you aren’t tired or irritable during the test.
PreparationHere’s a quick review of some smart study skills… • Study regularly and often. Make a schedule of when and what you’re going to study and then stick with it. • Set the right atmosphere. Make sure your study area is free of distractions and that you have everything you need to study within easy reach. • Make use of your classroom notes and flash cards. The more notes you write, the better. To help you remember your lecture notes, make flash cards. • Don’t wait to start intensive test studying. Start studying for a test about a week in advance to lessen the stress and give your brain plenty of time to absorb and learn the material.
AttitudeDon’t let the idea of tests take control of you. • Tests are important and they usually count a large percentage of your grade. However, each and every test is not the make/break test of your college career. • Tests are not designed in a way to intentionally fail or trick you, so don’t worry about it.Self-confidence is the key! • Statements like “I’ll be lucky to get a ‘B’ “ or “I’ll never do as good on this test as she will” can add to the natural stress you have for a test. • Imagine yourself doing well and getting a good grade. Think positively!
AttitudeDon’t engage in negative conversations right before the test. • Talking with your friends and classmates about how bad a test is going to be isn’t relaxing – its stressful.Tests should not be viewed as competitions. • Tests are an opportunity for you to show what you know. • Everyone is different and has his or her own unique strengths. Don’t worry that someone might be more academically inclined in one area than you. • Your friends and classmates’ grades will reflect their talents. Your grade should be reflective of your talents – it’s your test!
AttitudeNegative thoughts lead to negative results and more anxiety: •If you keep thinking the worst, you will allow it to happen because you can’t imagine anything better!Learn how to relax: •Whenever you feel anxious or need a refresher between study sessions, do something relaxing. •We’re all different so try what works…how best do you relax?
PressureTest anxiety is not always caused by stressing over an upcoming test. • There might be something else going on in your life that you need to get off your mind. • Any unnecessary worry only makes your test anxiety feel worse.It is important to deal with outside pressures before they have achance to build up inside of you and hurt your test performance. • You need your mind working at 100% to do well on tests. Any distractions outside of the test are harmful burdens.
PressureSeek help from other sources if you are having problems inyour life. • It’s always better to tackle problems with the support of friends, family, or counselors. • If you are having problems, talk with your professor, a counselor at school, a friend, or your parents.
PressureDuring the test, try to Relax -Use relaxation techniques, for example, taking long deep breaths to relax the body and reduce stress. -If you feel very anxious in the exam, take a few minutes to calm yourself. -Stretch your arms and legs and then relax them again. Do this a couple of times. -Take a few slow deep breaths. -Use positive self-talk; say to yourself, "I will be OK, I can do this." -Then direct your focus on the test.When the exam is over, treat yourself… -If you dont have any other commitments, maybe you can take the night off. -If you have to study for other exams you may have to postpone a larger break, but a brief break may be the "pick up" that you need.
PressureHave a little faith… • This is true for all issues and concerns in your life – not just tests!But remember, it takes more than just a little faith! • “Don’t expect God to do for you what He gives you the ability to do for yourself.” ~ Dr. Earp, Professor of Greek grammar to Dr. Greene • It won’t work just to pray for a sign for the correct answer to the question on the test. Instead, pray to God for help in clearing your mind and learning and take advantage of His help by actually studying!
You have to know the material to do well on a test.You have to control test anxiety to show what you know.