Test Anxiety

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Transcript Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety

What is Test Anxiety?

 If you experience test anxiety while taking a test you may notice the following:  Mental distraction: your mind may drift while you are reading questions or writing answers, and you may have trouble concentrating on the test  Physical symptoms: headaches, stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, racing heart, shortness of breath, etc.

 Mental blocks: you may be unable to remember the information you studied, unable to answer the questions

What Causes Test Anxiety?

 Previous negative experiences with tests:  Students who have failed in the past may feel they will fail again  Lack of preparation for the exam may cause students to “forget” the material during a test:  Poor study skills, poor note-taking skills, and poor time management can lead to a false sense of confidence on a test  Perfectionism:  Places stress on the student to be perfect, anything less than an A is not acceptable - this is not realistic, and results in a fear of failure  “If I fail this test, then I’ll fail this class, then I won’t graduate on time, I won’t get that job, and my life will be over!”  Don’t “catastrophize!” Negative thinking creates anxiety.

Symptoms of Test Anxiety

 I study hard but I get confused when I’m taking a test  Study effectively: review notes daily, review notebooks weekly, make the material meaningful to you, and quiz yourself when studying.

 I can’t sleep before a test – then I’m exhausted and I fail  Plan your time carefully: study throughout the semester, not just the night before the test, learn to relax yourself, and have good sleep habits throughout the semester.

 I can’t stay focused on the test – my mind wanders  Take a brief break, close your eyes, tense and relax your muscles, breathing deeply, and get back to the test. If permitted, take a walk down the hall, drink some water, and get back to the test.

Avoid Negative Thinking!

 Examples of negative thinking:  “Why should I spend time studying? I never do well no matter how much I study. “    “My sister is the smart one in the family. I can’t do this.” “I can’t let my parents down.” “I always remember the answers after I turn in my test.”  Negative thoughts create anxiety. Stay positive, be prepared, and encourage yourself along the way. Have a positive support system with friends and family who help you succeed.

Study Effectively to Avoid Anxiety

 Study where you can concentrate – avoid distractions and interruptions from TV, internet, phone, family, and friends  Study in the same place – keep school supplies stocked up so you don’t have to stop to look for something you need  Use good lighting – straining your eyes can make them tired  Use a desk or table – try not to study on a comfortable sofa or bed as it is too easy to nod off to sleep  Take a nap – you will study better when you are rested

Study Effectively to Avoid Anxiety

 Use flashcards  Make charts, timelines, graphs  Attend all classes, and always “be present” in class  Ask questions, listen for important notes  Get help, ask questions  Eat well and sleep well throughout the semester

Plan Effectively to Avoid Anxiety

 Keep notes organized  Review notes soon after class, and before class, and at least once a week  Keep a calendar with test dates and deadlines  Schedule several short review sessions, rather than one long “cram” session  Schedule some free time, to re-energize

Good Test-Taking Skills

 For short-answer question:   Budget your time: keep an eye on the clock – don’t spend too much time on one answer Do easy questions first: skip a question if you have to think about it or if it has you puzzled    Look for clues in the question: words like “define” or “describe” Answer each question: even if you can not answer the question completely, write what you know – writing may spark your memory Use the full time allowed: if you finish before time is up, go back and review your test to make sure you’ve answered all the questions, fix errors or add information

Good Test-Taking Skills

 For essay questions  Read all questions first – so you can answer the “easier” questions first, and plan your time carefully    Organize your ideas – make a diagram or outline on scratch paper before you start writing your essay answers Start with the easiest question – write your answers to the “easier” questions first to get them out of the way Proof read at the end – when you are done, read through you’re answers to make sure your answers make sense, and edit any errors

Good Test-Taking Skills

 For standardized tests  Get a study guide and review it daily for weeks before the exam   Be realistic – there may be some questions you can not answer Make an educated guess  Eliminate choices you KNOW are wrong  Look for clues in remaining choices  For standardized, multiple choice, matching exams  Solve in the order given, some questions may relate to previous questions on the test     Read each choice carefully and make sure you understand the question Think as you read – make sure understand what is being asked Narrow your choices or make an educated guess Finish the exam – keep an eye on the clock and make sure you answer all the questions

Learn to Control Your Anxiety

     Keep your thoughts and your mood positive.

 “I can do this” “I’m ready for this.” Use your imagination in a positive way  imagine yourself calm, in control, winning, etc. “I know this.” Use relaxation when you feel yourself becoming anxious    Breathe deeply, tighten muscles and then relax them Close your eyes and imagine you are in a peaceful/happy place Close your eyes, breathe deeply, slowly, focusing on each breath Relaxation techniques can be used    To help you sleep before a big day As a refresher between classes or studying To help you re-focus during a test Learn to relax

Deal with Pressure

 Before the pressure builds and anxiety is a problem  Visit VGCC counseling services: meet with a counselor to discuss your concerns (counseling at VGCC is free and confidential )  Talk to your peers: spend time talking about your problems or worries with trusted friends who have a positive influence  Talk to your instructors: let them know about your concerns, check on your progress, and get advice about succeeding in class  Talk to your parent, a family member, or spouse: everyone needs a support system at home to be successful in school

Anxiety Isn’t All Bad

 Keep in mind, that some level of anxiety is actually a good thing in our lives. A little bit of anxiety, helps us get things done, do our best, reach our goals, and even avoid danger.

 But, when anxiety becomes overwhelming or gets in the way of our normal day-to-day activities, it can have a negative impact on our lives, at home, at work, in class, on tests, etc.  Learn to manage your anxiety effectively.

 Learn to relax and put things in perspective.

Take Steps to Beat Test Anxiety

 Study effectively and really learn the material  Learn efficient test-taking strategies  Use relaxation techniques  Be prepared

View our other presentations on

 Study Skills  Note-taking Skills  Time Management  Stress Management

Read More About Relaxation Techniques

http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditat ion_yoga_relaxation.htm

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress management/features/blissing-out-10-relaxation techniques-reduce-stress-spot

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/relaxation technique/SR00007

More Information on Test Anxiety

http://www.studygs.net/tstprp8.htm

http://www.how-to-study.com/study skills/en/taking-tests/47/test-anxiety/index.asp

http://www.testanxietytips.com/