“This is a Test. This is Only a Test!” *Overcoming Test Anxiety* Presented by: Brenda Peedin Tutor Coordinator Student Support Services TRiO Johnston Community College
Who is likely to get test anxiety? • Those people who worry a lot • Perfectionists • Students that are not prepared, but who care about doing well • People who find it hard to except making mistakes
What are the signs of test anxiety? • Signs of test anxiety in your head: -going mentally blank -your heart races -you have difficulty concentrating -negative thoughts about …past performance …consequences of failure …how everyone else is doing -knowing the answers after the test, but not during the test
Signs of test anxiety in your body: -nausea -cramps -faintness -sweating -headache -dry mouth -increased breathing rate -fast heart -rate -tense muscles
What can I do to control test anxiety? • Be well prepared for the test • Include self-testing • Maintain a healthy lifestyle • Think positively • Organize what you will need for the test, the night before, • Get an adequate amount of sleep • Be sure that you are in the classroom a few minutes early so you do not feel rushed, clear your thoughts and go to your happy place just to relax your mind. • If you begin to feel anxious during the test-restructure your thoughts and take deep breaths • When the test is over treat yourself to some quite time if possible
Cognitive Restructuring • At the Center for Academic Skills at Louisiana State University here are their findings: • Cognitive restructuring involves exchanging a negative thought process with a rational, balanced message based on reason. For ex.: it would be unrealistic for me to tell you to think, “I love tests.” and I love this topic”, when you don’t. A more effective restructuring would be to say, “Although I have had difficulty with this topic, I have studied the material and am prepared to share my knowledge.”
Change Your Mindset! • You must be responsible for your own thoughts • Instead of thinking, “I must get a good grade on this test, my whole future is riding on it”, try to be positive and think this way, “I realize that if I do not do well on this test, it could change my future, but I am releasing myself from this pressure. I have studied hard and believe that I will be successful!”
Test Preparation Tips • First you should have already read the material. Read it again for clarity. • Take notes in class as the instructor goes over the material and if she says that you need to pay close attention to certain areas, be sure to highlight it….it will be on the test. • If there are questions at the end of the chapter, preview those until you can answer them without assistance from the book. • Review quizzes!!! Be sure that all tests have been corrected.
Your Best Advocate Can Be You!!! • Don’t let test anxiety control the direction that you go in. You can control it by using the methods we have discussed today. Many people have overcome test anxiety and gone on to become very successful people and I know you can too!
Resources: • Louisiana State University • Florida State University • Educational Testing Services