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Test Anxiety Designed by: Regina Crews, Secretary of Student Support Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Test Anxiety Designed by: Regina Crews, Secretary of Student Support Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Test Anxiety Designed by: Regina Crews, Secretary of Student Support Services

2 What is Test Anxiety? Test anxiety is the worry or fear caused by having to take tests.

3 Test Anxiety May Cause:
Mental Distraction - You may be unable to concentrate and may be easily distracted by noise, uncomfortable temperature, passersby, etc. Physical Symptoms - You may fidget, have “butterflies” in your stomach, quickened heart rate or breathing, nausea, sweaty palms, a headache, etc. Mental Blocks - You may be unable to think effectively about the task at hand.

4 Who is Affected? Every student who takes a test feels some anxiety. For some students, the feeling is very intense and affects their performance -- with serious results. Some students can rise to the challenge - They see an exam as an opportunity to show what they know, but others view the same test as threats. For example, students who have failed in the past often fear they will fail again. A test anxious student may do poorly on an exam even if he/she knows the material better than another student who is able to control anxiety.

5 What Causes Test Anxiety?
Test anxiety is caused by pressure, past experiences, and fear of failure.

6 Negative Thoughts If I do not do well, I will flunk the course. Then I’ will never get into college, or graduate, or get a job… --Do not put your whole future on the line with a single test. It is unlikely that the outcome of just one test will “make or break” your goals or dreams. I study hard but in the exam room I just get confused. -- Develop better study habits and learn relaxation techniques to help keep your mind clear. I always get so worked up the night before an exam that I cannot sleep. The next day I’ am exhausted and I flunk. -- Learn how to relax. Do not rely on drugs to help you, they can cause more anxiety. Listen to soft music by candlelight, soak in a warm bath, use aromatherapy candles and oils to help you relax.

7 I just cannot keep my mind on the test
I just cannot keep my mind on the test. It wanders -- to weekend plans, my friends, whatever. -- Improve your concentration by learning basic self discipline techniques. I never do well, no matter how much I study, so why study at all? – Do not fall into the trap of having low expectations. Studying does bring results. My sister’s the smart one in the family. She always does better than I do. – Do not compete with others. Learn the way that is best for you. My parents have invested so much in me, I cannot let them down. -- Your parents will still love you and be your parents no matter the outcome of your test. I always think of the answers after I leave the room. -- This is because your tension has been released, the pressure of taking the exam is off your shoulders. Learn relaxation techniques to help you through the test.

8 How to Deal with Negative Thoughts
Yell Stop! When you notice yourself using negative self talk and your mind racing with anxiety, mentally yell STOP! Daydream -- Fill your mind with pleasant thoughts. When you feel negative thoughts creeping in, anxiety over an upcoming test, substitute the negative thoughts with visions of enjoyable things. Visualize Success -- We live up to our expectations whether good or bad. Instead of letting yourself think about failure, convince yourself of your victory. Focus - Focus your attention on a specific object. During an exam take a few seconds to listen to the sounds around you. This will calm your mind by occupying it with a particular sensation such as sight, sound, or touch.

Praise Yourself - Talk to yourself in a positive way. Give yourself some encouragement. Consider phrases like: “I am very relaxed,” “I am doing a great job on this test,” “I am answering these questions very well,” “I never forget anything and I have lots of techniques that will help me recall the information I need.” Consider the Worst -- Rather than trying to stop worrying, consider the very worst thing that could happen. Take your fear to the limit of absurdity -- how could failing this exam lead to your demise? YOU CAN BEAT TEST ANXIETY IF YOU LEARN TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!

10 Dealing with Feelings Breathe - You can calm physical sensations by focusing your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on the air going in and out of your body. Do this for two to five minutes. Make sure you are taking long, deep breaths, to prevent hyperventilation. Scan Your Body - Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Start with your feet. Focus your attention on the muscles in your feet and tell them to relax, move upward all the way to your scalp. Tense and Relax - Find a muscle that is tense and make it even more tense. Example: If your shoulders are tense, pull them back, arch your back and tense your shoulder muscles even more and then relax. The result of this is that you will be aware of the relaxation and allow yourself to relax more.

11 Use Guided Imagery - Take a quick fantasy trip
Use Guided Imagery - Take a quick fantasy trip. Close your eyes, relax your body, and imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful, natural setting. Create as much of the scene as you can. Be specific. Use all your senses. Describe It - Focus your attention on your anxiety. If you are feeling nauseated or have a headache, then concentrate on that feeling. Describe it to yourself, how large it is, where its located in your body, what color and shape it is, what texture it is, how much water it might hold if it had volume and how heavy it is. Describe it in detail and do not resist it. If you can completely experience a physical sensation if will often disappear. Exercise Aerobically - Do some kind of exercise that will get your heart beating at twice your normal rate and keep it beating at that rate for minutes. Get Help - If these techniques do not work, if the anxiety is very serious, get help. If you become withdrawn, have frequent thoughts about death, get depressed and stay that way for more than a few days, or have prolonged feelings of hopelessness, see a counselor.

12 You Can Learn to Control Your Anxiety
Do not let emotions interfere with logic. Here are some ways to keep your perspective:

13 Think About Why Recognize that some thoughts are negative and self defeating. For each emotional, frightening thought, come up with a rational counter-thought. For instance, replace: “I could never study enough for this test.” with: “I have a lot to study, but if I stick to my schedule and concentrate, I can do it.”

14 Learn to Relax Loosen your clothing and get comfortable.
Tighten the muscles in your toes. Hold for a count of 10. Relax and enjoy the sensation of release from tension. Flex the muscles in your feet. Hold for a count of 10. Relax. Move slowly up through your body -- legs, abdomen, back, neck, face -- contracting and relaxing muscles as you go. Breathe deeply and slowly.

15 Use These Relaxation Techniques
When you feel yourself becoming anxious. To help you sleep the night before an exam. As a refresher between study sessions.

16 If Your Mind is Blocked by Tension During an Exam:
Close your eyes. Take a deep, long breath. Let it out slowly. Concentrate on your breathing -- actually feel or hear yourself breathe. Do not allow yourself to worry about the time, test, or tension. Repeat once, then return to the test.

17 Deal with Pressure before it has a chance to build -- get help from:
The counseling center Peer counselors Instructors The career counseling and placement office Your parents

18 Take Steps to Beat Test Anxiety!
Study effectively - to learn the material. Learn - effective test-taking strategies Use - relaxation techniques YOU CAN SUCCEED!!

19 Thank you for your participation in this workshop
Thank you for your participation in this workshop. We hope you found this information useful. Please be sure to complete and turn in an Academic Enrichment Summary. If you are viewing this workshop via the internet, please come by the Student Support Services office to complete an Academic Enrichment Summary or you may click on the link in the directions box on the Workshops page and print one out or it to: so that we may document your participation. Handouts available upon request. EXIT

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