Test anxiety Techniques for Recognition and Reduction Hannah Yohn, M.S.
What Is Test Anxiety? • Text Anxiety - Distress or uneasiness over test taking, often affecting test performance.
What are the Symptoms? • Physical Symptoms • Headache, Nausea, Trouble Breathing, Increased Heart Rate, Sweating, Etc. • In severe cases, it can even result in a Panic Attack. • Panic Attack – sudden onset of intense fear and distress than can cause an individual to feel like they cannot breathe or are having a heart attack. • Emotional Symptoms • Helplessness, Anger, Fear, Embarrassment, Etc. • Behavioral/Cognitive Symptoms • Problems Concentrating, Negative Thinking, Comparing Yourself to Others, Etc.
What are the causes? • Fear of Failure • Your “worth” is not determined by grade in a course • Lack of Preparation • Poor Test History
Test Anxiety Myths • Test Anxiety Cannot Be Reduced • All Levels of Test Anxiety Are Bad • Difference between Stress and Distress • Students Who Make Good Grades Do Not Have Test Anxiety • Ignoring Test Anxiety Will Make it Go Away • Students With Test Anxiety Cannot Be Successful in Math • Test Anxiety is ALWAYS caused by lack of preparation
How can I manage My Test Anxiety? • Be Prepared! • Do not procrastinate • Try to avoid “Cramming” • Develop a plan • Test Yourself • Simulate the Test Conditions • Try to anticipate what might be some questions on the test. • Start/Join a Study Group
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Improve Your Test Taking Skills • Show up to the test early • Use relaxation techniques • Read ALL directions thoroughly before you begin the test • Bring more than one writing utensil • If it is a test that you can use a calculator on, bring it! • If you do not know, ask the instructor before the night of test • Write down important formulas, facts, and definitions in the margin as soon as you begin the test • Answer the questions you know first, next the ones you are fairly sure about, then spend the remainder of your test time working on the questions you find difficult • On multiple choice questions, read all options first. Begin by eliminated options that you feel confident are incorrect. • Check over your answers before you turn the test in, but don’t spend too much time second guessing! • Rely on your First Impression • Find what techniques work best for you.
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Use Relaxation Techniques • Put your writing utensil down, then begin to take deep, long breathes. • Close your eyes for a moment if needed. • Count to ten (or 100 if needed) in your head, then begin again. • Be mindful of the clock on time tests, but do not freak out! • It is better to do well on most of the questions, than to become so anxious about the time that you do poorly on all the questions. • Learn to manage your time when taking tests • Wear a Watch
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Keep Your Focus • Try not to talk to other students right before the test • It is okay if others finish the test before you! • Make it a goal to NOT be the first person to finish the exam • If you find your mind wandering, take a deep breath and regain your focus • Try not to sit near windows or doors • This can cause you to be distracted
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Avoid Negative Thoughts • “No matter how hard I try, I will never pass this course” • “I am not good at this subject; I shouldn’t even try” • “I will never remember the things I studied” • “I have already failed this course once, I will probably fail it again” • “I am just not smart enough” • “I will never learn this” STOP!!!
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Concentrate on Positive Thoughts • “I have adequately prepared for this test, and I know I can do my best!” • “I am not going to panic if I encounter a difficult problem” • “I have failed this course before, but I know I can do better now” • “I went “blank” on that last test, but I know how to reduce my anxiety now” • “With hard work, I know I can do this!” • “I am going to use ALL the time I am given, and make sure I do not make careless mistakes” • “My worth is not determined by a grade; As long as I do my personal best, I have succeeded”
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Keep a Positive Attitude! • Try not to “beat yourself up” before, during, or after the test • Instead of competing with others, just try to do YOUR best • You do not have to be perfect • Tell yourself that you have prepared, and you can do this! • Avoid thinking in “all-or-nothing” terms • Reward Yourself AFTER the test
How can I manage My Test Anxiety • Do Not Forget the Basics • Get an ample amount of sleep (if possible) the night before the test • Do not forget to eat something (at least something small) before the exam. • Go to the restroom before the exam begins • Dress appropriately • If your class is usually cold, do not forget to bring a jacket • Think of yourself as a total person, not just a test taker.
Let’s practice • Remember the Techniques You have Learned!
Thank you! • Thank you for attending ! I hope that you have found this information useful. • If you are viewing this seminar online, please come by Student Support Services, Malone 115, and pick up an Academic Seminar Evaluation form to fill out and turn in, or you may fill out the form online after clicking on the word “exit” below. • If you have any suggestions for future Academic Seminars, you may stop by the Student Support Services Office in Malone Hall Room 116, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 334-983-6556 ext. 1216. EXIT
References • http://www.education.com/definition/test-anxiety/ • http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/test-anxiety • http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/?page_id=114 • http://www.wvup.edu/academics/more_test_anxiety_tips.htm • http://www.testtakingtips.com/anxiety/index.htm