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Controlling Your Test Anxiety Barbara Eckenfels, MS - F240 (936) 273-7246 Juan Lebron, Ed.S - F250 (936) 273-7246 TEAM Division Counselors Montgomery.

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Presentation on theme: "Controlling Your Test Anxiety Barbara Eckenfels, MS - F240 (936) 273-7246 Juan Lebron, Ed.S - F250 (936) 273-7246 TEAM Division Counselors Montgomery."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Controlling Your Test Anxiety Barbara Eckenfels, MS - F240 (936) Juan Lebron, Ed.S - F250 (936) TEAM Division Counselors Montgomery College

3 Why Do I Have Math Test Anxiety? Past failures come to haunt you! Past failures come to haunt you! Lowered self-confidence Lowered self-confidence Attitude need adjusting? Attitude need adjusting? Lack of preparation? Lack of preparation?

4 What Comes First! You need an attitude adjustment! You can do math and you must believe it! You need an attitude adjustment! You can do math and you must believe it! You must commit to doing what it takes to pass math! (More lab and study time! Control Test Anxiety). Math is required in all BS/BA programs! You must commit to doing what it takes to pass math! (More lab and study time! Control Test Anxiety). Math is required in all BS/BA programs! If you follow the How to be Successful in Math tips, you WILL Succeed. If you follow the How to be Successful in Math tips, you WILL Succeed.

5 Disarm the Power of Tests! Grades are NOT: A measure of intelligence A measure of intelligence A measure of creativity A measure of creativity An indication of how you will contribute to society An indication of how you will contribute to society A measure of what you have accomplished A measure of what you have accomplished A MEASURE OF YOUR SELF-WORTH! A MEASURE OF YOUR SELF-WORTH!

6 Grades Are: A measure of what you scored on a particular day or days. A measure of what you scored on a particular day or days. An Indication of what your professor feels is important. An Indication of what your professor feels is important. Powerful enough to cause a delay or adjustment in reaching your goals, but not powerful enough to stop you forever! Powerful enough to cause a delay or adjustment in reaching your goals, but not powerful enough to stop you forever!

7 What is Test Anxiety? It is the worry caused by having to take a test. You may experience: butterflies in your stomach butterflies in your stomach Anxiety Anxiety Sweating Sweating Nausea Nausea Loss of concentration or blanking out Loss of concentration or blanking out Lower grades on tests than daily work Lower grades on tests than daily work

8 The Flight or Fight Response The automatic stress response dates back to prehistoric times – for survival. The automatic stress response dates back to prehistoric times – for survival. We cannot differentiate between a perceived physical threat and a psychological threat. We cannot differentiate between a perceived physical threat and a psychological threat.

9 Physiological Response to a Physical or Emotional Threat Hormones are elevated during the stress response ~ cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are released into the bloodstream. Hormones are elevated during the stress response ~ cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are released into the bloodstream. Anxiety or stress response occurs! Anxiety or stress response occurs!

10 What are Other Causes of Test Anxiety? What are Other Causes of Test Anxiety? Pressure to succeedPressure to succeed Fear of failureFear of failure Need to make all AsNeed to make all As Irrational and/or negativeIrrational and/or negative thinking thinking

11 Who is Affected by Test Anxiety? Everyone experiences some test anxiety, but there are generally two types of students: Those who see testing as a challenge and a chance to show the instructor what they know. Those who see testing as a challenge and a chance to show the instructor what they know. Those who view testing as a threat. They may have experienced past failures. Those who view testing as a threat. They may have experienced past failures.

12 How can you eliminate Test Anxiety?

13 Tips for Reducing Test Anxiety Be prepared! Study, study, study….. Be prepared! Study, study, study….. Get plenty of rest the night before Get plenty of rest the night before Eat properly the day of the exam Eat properly the day of the exam Do not arrive early or late to the exam Do not arrive early or late to the exam Avoid last minute studying Avoid last minute studying Avoid listening or discussing the test while you are waiting to take the test. Avoid listening or discussing the test while you are waiting to take the test. Dont forget to breathe! Dont forget to breathe!

14 Tips continued: Replace negative thoughts, with positive thoughts while taking deep breaths and doing relaxation exerciseswe will practice this! Replace negative thoughts, with positive thoughts while taking deep breaths and doing relaxation exerciseswe will practice this! Dont worry and get bogged down with questions you dont know. Dont worry and get bogged down with questions you dont know. REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS SEMINAR AND USE IT!!! REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS SEMINAR AND USE IT!!!

15 Three Factors to Successful Test Taking Three Factors to Successful Test Taking

16 Preparation Your knowledge and preparation are basic to doing well. You may panic in the test due to incomplete knowledge or from not having studied enough. This is not TRUE test anxiety

17 Test Taking Skills Familiarity with test taking formats and the development of good test taking strategies are essential to your academic success! Familiarity with test taking formats and the development of good test taking strategies are essential to your academic success!

18 Emotional State Your emotional state affects your ability to test well. Your emotional state affects your ability to test well. It takes a calm and controlled emotional state for your memory and judgment to work most effectively. It takes a calm and controlled emotional state for your memory and judgment to work most effectively.

19 Conquering Test Anxiety by Learning Relaxation Techniques Conquering Test Anxiety by Learning Relaxation Techniques You cannot be relaxed and anxious at the same time! Control the Flight or Fight Response: Deep Breathing Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Practice) Choose a word to link to the relaxation exercises. Mental Imagery Systematic Desensitization

20 Progressive Relaxation Exercises: Breathe! Take a deep breath, hold for 5 seconds. At the same time, tense the muscles in your face and neck. Now slowly exhale and relax these muscles. Take a deep breath, hold for 5 seconds. At the same time, tense the muscles in your face and neck. Now slowly exhale and relax these muscles. Take another deep breath, hold for 5 seconds and at the same time tense the muscles in your shoulders and arms. Slowly exhale, relaxing these muscles Take another deep breath, hold for 5 seconds and at the same time tense the muscles in your shoulders and arms. Slowly exhale, relaxing these muscles Continue through the following muscle groups: Continue through the following muscle groups: Chest and lungs Chest and lungs Stomach area Stomach area Hips, legs & feet Hips, legs & feet Pay attention to how you feel while doing this exercise. You should begin to feel your body relax

21 Control Negative Thinking You can control what you think!! Control negative thinking: self-defeating statements can become self-fulfilling prophecies. self-fulfilling prophecies. Awareness: Identify your own pattern of negative statements Awareness: Identify your own pattern of negative statements Consequences: Note the consequences. Take the statement: Consequences: Note the consequences. Take the statement: If I blow this test, its my whole career, my whole life. NOT!! If I blow this test, its my whole career, my whole life. NOT!! CHANGE TO: CHANGE TO: If I continue to think about my life right now, I wont have time to concentrate on this test. If I continue to think about my life right now, I wont have time to concentrate on this test. Rebuttal: Now, challenge your original statement. These statements are NOT absolute, predictable truths! Rebuttal: Now, challenge your original statement. These statements are NOT absolute, predictable truths!

22 Reverse Negative Thinking Begin to Develop positive self-statements: I CAN do well on this test. I studied hard and Know this material. Im smart and will succeed no matter what!

23 Progressive Muscle Relaxation Practice Close your eyes and listen as I talk you through the sequence of tensing and relaxing your different muscle groups. Close your eyes and listen as I talk you through the sequence of tensing and relaxing your different muscle groups. Choose a Relaxation Word to use as you relax your muscles and exhale Choose a Relaxation Word to use as you relax your muscles and exhale Get comfortable, close your eyes…. Get comfortable, close your eyes….

24 Mental Imagery Practice Relax, take several deep breaths and listen…..

25 Systematic Desensitization Work mentally through a hierarchy of least anxiety producing situations to the worse anxiety situations. Work mentally through a hierarchy of least anxiety producing situations to the worse anxiety situations. Use your relaxation techniques while vividly imaging the least anxiety producing situation on your hierarchy list. Use your relaxation techniques while vividly imaging the least anxiety producing situation on your hierarchy list. Keep practicing until you are relaxed. Keep practicing until you are relaxed. Go to the next level. (See handout) Go to the next level. (See handout)

26 PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! The skills you need to conquer Test Anxiety will not be acquired overnight! The skills you need to conquer Test Anxiety will not be acquired overnight! If you believe you CAN do it, then you CAN! If you believe you CAN do it, then you CAN!

27 Life is too short to sweat the small stuff!


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