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Coping with Test Anxiety

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Presentation on theme: "Coping with Test Anxiety"— Presentation transcript:

1 Coping with Test Anxiety
What is Test Anxiety? What effect does it have? Coping with Test Anxiety How can I prevent Test Anxiety? How can I reduce my Test Anxiety? A student support session presented by: Academic Anxiety Resource Center

2 Partners Coping with Test Anxiety How can I prevent Test Anxiety?
Center for Technology in Education

3 Have you ever… …worried so much over an exam that
you’ve lost sleep or skipped meals? …spent many hours studying for a test and during the exam your mind goes blank? …felt extremely nervous, had sweaty palms or shortness of breath during a test? …worried about the grade or the questions from a test after you’ve taken it?

4 What is Test Anxiety? Test preparation Test performance
Any uneasiness, tension, apprehension, or feelings of worry or fear associated with the three phases of the learning-testing cycle: Test preparation Test performance Test reflection Most people believe test anxiety only occurs during the test-taking event However, it is very common to experience similar anxiety prior to and for hours or even days after a test.

5 What Can Cause Test Anxiety?
Pressure family, friends, professors, classmates, key milestones Past experiences previous test-taking problems, negative experiences Fear of failure often due to pressure and negative past experiences Lack of adequate preparation waiting until the last minute  feeling overwhelmed cramming does little to help you adequately prepare Poor test-taking skills lack skills in knowing how to take a test There are several factors that can contribute to the cause of too much anxiety: Pressure from family, friends, or professors. Competition with classmates, Graduation. If a student has had previous problems or bad experiences with test-taking, this can lead to a negative mind-set. Individuals who tie their self-worth to the outcome of a test tend to create an overwhelming fear of failure, so remember its just a test. Waiting until the last minute can leave you anxious or overwhelmed. Cramming is stressful! Bad time management is a huge cause of anxiety! If you work on improving your test taking skills, you can Control your Test Anxiety!!

6 What are the Effects of Test Anxiety?
Some anxiety is normal when preparing for and taking a test However, the EFFECT on students is what makes the difference: Cognitive Symptoms Mental Distraction unable to concentrate, easily distracted by noise, uncomfortable temperatures, and even people walking by Mental blocks unable to think effectively about studying for & taking test Physical symptoms Fidgeting, “butterflies” in stomach, quickened heart rate or breathing, nausea, sweaty palms, or a headache

7 All of this can impair your test performance even if you prepared and know the material!

8 Keys to Prevent Test Anxiety
Set GOALS to get started & stay motivated Start PREPARING well in advance Develop good TIME MANAGEMENT Create an ENVIRONMENT conducive to study Utilize effective STUDY STRATEGIES TAKE CARE of yourself

9 PREPARE & MANAGE your time
A Few Weeks Before: look ahead, set your goals and outline your study schedule timeline A Week Before: organize your notes and other materials so they are ready begin your review plan to space out multiple study sessions over the week Day Before: one final, brief review of the material make sure you eat right and get adequate sleep Day Of: Relax, Be Confident, Remind yourself that you have prepared and you KNOW this!

10 Study ENVIRONMENT Select or create a study space that is set up to
help you study effectively. Make sure you: select a convenient time when you are most alert are comfortable use a spacious area to easily access your materials have everything with you that you might need minimize distracters and interruptions people, phone, noise (tv, music)

11 STUDY STRATEGIES First, do the BASICS to put yourself in the best position to do well: attend all classes be an active participant in class (take notes, pay attention) ask questions and get help if you have problems Practice “SQ3R” SURVEY (skim) – the chapter to plan your approach QUESTION – form questions about the reading READ the assigned materials RECITE (recall) – the key points in your own words REVIEW - the material again, testing knowledge NOTE-TAKING – before, during, after lecture

textbook, companion website, provided by the instructor CREATE your own learning aids to review Use a STUDY GUIDE to direct study sessions THINK about the test format and plan for how to take the test REVISIT material multiple times in different ways Short, frequent study sessions (1 hour then break) Review, question yourself, do practice quizzes, write out the information, review with classmates

13 Keys to Reduce Test Anxiety
Keep some PERSPECTIVE remember that some anxiety is good the real significance of the test Utilize RELAXATION Techniques Focus on POSITIVE “SELF TALK”

14 RELAXATION Techniques
In order to relax, you must activate the body’s natural relaxation response. These various techniques can help: Deep Breathing Meditation A powerful, easy and quick technique to help you slow your breathing and better control the ‘stress’ reaction Hypnotherapy Relaxation Helps you achieve a deeply relaxed and focused state in which the mind is guided away from thoughts or worry into a more tranquil and peaceful place

15 RELAXATION Techniques
Visualization & Imagery Uses slow breathing and peaceful, mental imagery to create a relaxed and pleasant mental state. Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness – state of focused attention and awareness of how we are thinking, feeling and sensing in the present moment Through practicing mindfulness, you can acknowledge and better understand your experiences

16 RELAXATION Techniques
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Involves tensing and relaxing of specific muscle groups while breathing deeply Progress sequentially through various muscles in body Yoga for Stress Relief Using postures and breathing to improve mental and physical state Yoga Breathing Exercise (Pranayama) Specifically use breathing exercises to achieve mental relaxation

17 The Power of SELF-TALK A lot of anxiety comes from negative self-talk
“I’ll never pass this test…” “If I fail, I’ll never…” Think about your statements and restructure them to reflect more realistic, positive thinking “Yes, this test is important, but it is just one grade in this class” “I will be ok, I can do this” “I know that I will do better next time” Be confident in your abilities “I am capable of passing this test” “I am going to do well because I prepared as best as I could” Stay away from other negative talkers – only fuels anxiety

18 2 Key Points to Remember:
Start studying and preparing in advance You must know the material to do well on a test Learn and practice ways to control your anxiety You have to manage your anxiety in order to demonstrate what you know on the test.

19 For more helpful information, follow these links to additional resources…
Helpful Websites on: About Test Anxiety (University of Buffalo) About Test Anxiety (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) Overcoming Test Anxiety Relaxation Technique Activities Relaxation Technique Descriptions Helpful Videos on: How to Get the Most Out of Studying Mindful Meditation exercise

20 For additional support or information, contact:
Academic Anxiety Resource Center website: or Dr. Jerrell Cassady Monica L. Heller Feel free to visit us on Twitter! @AcademicAnx

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