Test Anxiety By: Alex Boles, Andrew Hopwood, Chelsi Brown, and Emily Kohne
Take It Away Chelsi… • Question Press • www.questionpress.com/cabrown
Myths • Myth #1. Test anxiety is only a problem for students (i.e., once you’re out of school, test anxiety is irrelevant). • FALSE. Although test anxiety has been estimated to affect up to 25% of school-aged children and adolescents and 15-20% of college-aged students, non-students are not immune to its effects. • In fact, test anxiety can actually manifest some of its most devastating consequences after you graduate.
Myths • Myth #2. Test-taking anxiety doesn’t affect smart people. • FALSE. Brilliant individuals can have test-taking anxiety too. It is true, however, that individuals with test anxiety are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to their non-anxious peers
Myths • Myth #3. Test anxiety is an individual problem that requires an individual solution. • FALSE. Although treatment for test anxiety is often conducted individually, many benefit from group-based treatments. • Behaviorally-based interventions that include mock exams can be particularly effective. • You are also likely to benefit if you enlist the cooperation of trusted friends and family members, who can be instrumental in helping you stay accountable when working toward your goals.
Myths • Myth #4. Test anxiety is just “in your head.” • FALSE. Although test anxiety lives in your head, it has a strong physiological component that affects the entire body.
Myths • Myth #5. It’s impossible to get over test anxiety. • FALSE. Test anxiety does respond to appropriate treatment, but it rarely improves when it is ignored.
What is it? • Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which people experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations. While many people experience some degree of stress and anxiety before and during exams, test anxiety can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.
Symptoms • Common symptoms of Test Anxiety include… • Nausea • Upset Stomach • Diarrhea • Sweating • Difficulty Breathing • Dizziness
More Symptoms • Rapid Heartbeat • Choking or Smothering Sensations • Headaches • Dry Mouth.
What Helps? • Developing good study habits • Manage time (dealing with procrastination, distractions, laziness) • Organizing material to be studied and learned.Take a step by step approach to build a strategy and not get overwhelmed. • Outside pressures success/failure consequences (grades, graduation), peer pressure, competitiveness, etc. • Reviewing your past performance on teststo improve and learn from experience
Test Preparation • Approach the exam with confidence:Use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: visualization, logic, talking to your self, practice, team work, journaling, etc.View the exam as an opportunity to show how much you've studied and to receive a reward for the studying you've done • Be prepared!Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist • Choose a comfortable location for taking the testwith good lighting and minimal distractions • Allow yourself plenty of time,especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early
Test Preparation • Avoid thinking you need to cram just before • Strive for a relaxed state of concentrationAvoid speaking with any fellow students who have not prepared, who express negativity, who will distract your preparation • A program of exerciseis said to sharpen the mind • Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam • Don't go to the exam with an empty stomachFresh fruits and vegetables are often recommended to reduce stress.Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices • Take a small snack, or some other nourishmentto help take your mind off of your anxiety.Avoid high sugar content (candy) which may aggravate your condition
During a Test • Read the directions carefully • Budget your test taking time • Change positions to help you relax • If you go blank, skip the question and go on • If you're taking an essay testand you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind • Don't panicwhen students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for finishing first
After a Test • List what worked, and hold onto these strategiesIt does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success • List what did not work for improvement • Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle
Test Time • http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-tests/anxiety-disorder-test.shtml • What level of test anxiety do you have?
Results… • 0 - 20 No Anxiety Disorder Present.
Results… • 21 - 40 Low Anxiety. However, there are a few anxiety disorder characteristics. You may want to seek anxiety or stress related self-help information in order to help lower your overall risk.
Results… • 41 – 60Moderate level, you may be experiencing some anxiety-related symptoms or indications of an anxiety disorder. You may want to seek anxiety disorder self-help or counseling assistance in order to help lower your risk of further development.
Results… • 61 - 80 You are exhibiting anxiety symptoms and may have an anxiety disorder.
Results… • 81 - 100 Your response indicates that you have an anxiety disorder.
References • http://www.studygs.net/tstprp8.htm • http://www.steveseay.com/test-anxiety-myths/ • http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-tests/anxiety-disorder-test.shtml