Test Taking Strategies and Test Anxiety
Test Taking Strategies and Test Anxiety
This workshop is intended to help you learn the following:
- The causes of anxiety;
- How anxiety manifests itself;
- Strategies for reducing test anxiety; and
- Strategies for how to take tests.
Are tests accurate in determining how much you know or don't know about a subject?
What do tests really measure? Do tests measure . . .
how well you can do in the world of work?
your ability to contribute to society?
The answer is . .. . NO!
A test score is ONLY a measure of what a student scored on a test.
• If you are very anxious, and blank out, then your grade can not measure what you learned.
• The reverse is also true. If you are good at taking tests and a lucky guesser, the score won't be an accurate reflection of what you have learned.
.....So, don't underestimate the importance of tests, BUT, be sure to keep them in perspective!
HOW DOES ANXIETY MANIFEST ITSELF?
Physical aspects (Do any of these sound familiar?)
- Sweaty palms
- Butterflies in your stomach
- Shaky knees
- Cognitive messages such as "I'm going to fail this test" or "I am not smart."
CAUSES OF TEST ANXIETY
- Test anxiey may be caused by a person associating grades with self-worth and value.
- Test anxiety may stem from a feeling of lack of control and an inability to change a situation.
- Test anxiety may stem from a negative past experience.
But remember . . . Anxiety is learned, therefore it can be unlearned!!
!!!!!!!!Warning: Lack of preparation often disguises itself as Test-Anxiety!!!!!!
Set the Stage for Success. Avoid Test Anxiety by Being Prepared!
Test Preparation really begins the first day of class. When studying, cover all the material taught in class as well as work assigned from your textbook. If you don't wait until the night before the test, it is very possible to cover all the material.
Before the test . . .
- Find out what kind of test you are going to take by asking your instructor.
- Review past exams.
- Predict test questions.
- Complete some pre-tests if available and practice test taking.
- Prepare appropriately for tests involving problem solving or essays.
- Attend a review session, if one is offered.
- Go to bed early. Do not pull an all-nighter or cramming session before the test.
- Eat a healthy meal before the test.
- Come to the test with everything you need: pencils, calculators, and other supplies.
During the Test . . .
- Arrive to the test with confidence.
- Sit back, relax, breathe, and clear your mind if you become nervous.
- Listen to the professor before the test begins for any important instructions.
- Preview the test – budget your time so you don't spend too much time on any one problem.
- Jot down any mnemonics you might have developed on the back or at the top of the page. (If you don't know what a mnemonic is, click the link to learn more!)
- Answer easy questions first – go back to more difficult questions later.
- If in doubt, do not erase your first answer.
- Take the entire test period – do not rush.
After the test . . .
- Go over the items you got wrong – try to answer or solve the problems on your own first.
- Get help if you cannot answer them. There are plenty of available resources on campus. Talk with your instructors or visit a learning specialist over in the Learning Commons.
- Go over the items you got right – the more you learn the material, the better you will retain.
- Learn from your mistakes and be aware of them next time you take a test.
THE TEST ANXIETY CYCLE
Three Aids for Test Anxiety
Become aware of your thoughts.
"I am not going to do well on this test."
Reframe it to:
* "I have passed tests before."
* "I have made it to college."
* "I don't have to love the subject, but I will do my best."
II. Imaginary rehearsal
* Rehearse a desired behavior
* Visualize turning in a successful exam
* Focus on the exam, nothing else
III. Muscle Relaxation
Pay attention to signs in your body of tension and anxiety and be prepared to practice muscle relaxation techniques early on before the anxiety increases! For more information on muscle relaxation techniques, try these sites.
- Learn Ways To Calm Your Stress
- Relaxation Techniques
Remember to cope with anxiety by:
• Approaching the test with an "I can" attitude.
• Preparing emotionally for the test, controlling your self-talk, and being positive.
• Reminding yourself that you have studied and that you know the material.
Don't Sabotage Success . . . Master Test Anxiety!
For additional information on test anxiety, take time to visit the following webpages:
- Test Anxiety
- Test Taking Strategies (9 additional sites on how to take different types of tests, common testing errors, and tips for surviving final exams)
- Test Taking Tips
Best wishes for a successful semester! If you need any additional assistance, please contact
Enrollment Services and Student Success at (850) 201-8555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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