Rate yourself from 1(never) -5 (always) Trouble sleeping the night before Sweaty palms, shaky hands before the test Butterflies in your stomach Nauseated, heart pounding You read through the test and feel that you don’t know any of the answers Your mind goes blank But you remember answers once you walk out You have difficulty choosing answers You make mistakes on easy questions You panic
9 immediate fight or flight responses 4 delayed responses minutes later 4 CHRONIC responses that can be harmful ongoing Stress and your body The physical impact
9 immediate fight or flight responses 1.Brain dulls sense of pain 2.Eyes dilate 3.Lungs take in more oxygen 4.Liver converts stored sugar to glucose 5.Heart pumps faster 6.Adrenal glands secrete epinephrine 7.Spleen sends out extra red blood cells 8.Intestines halt digestion 9.Body hair stands up (a primitive, evolutionary leftover)
Downwards (bad) spiral 1. You underestimated how much time you need 2. You overestimated how well you know the material 3. You did poorly on the first test 4. The next test is even more important and your 4.0 “debit card” in the class has even less “purchasing power” 5. Your anxiety level goes up which can hurt your performance on the next test
Tension Panic Poor performance More TENSION MORE PANIC POORER PERFORMANCE
Common causes of test anxiety Others’ expectations Letting grades determine your self-worth Placing too much emphasis on a single test Giving in to guilt feelings caused by inadequate studying Feeling helpless, that you have no control over your performance or grades
Common feelings Painful Uncomfortable Discouraging Frustrating Intimidating Paralyzing
Preparing yourself academically Preparing yourself mentally Start studying early Stay on top of reading and lecture Organize your information and yourself Find out beforehand the test focus and format Get psyched up, but not psyched out Cram systematically Practice relaxation techniques Rehearse for the test’s questions and its time of day and duration
Find out beforehand the test format and focus ask in class so everyone gets the benefit figure it out from old tests.
Courses Grade goal for each Expected test format Study strategies for test material
predicting Try to get better at predicting a professor’s test questions : Handout online Handout online
Previous tests Previous tests if available (including, obviously, ones you’ve already taken
The professor’s emphasis in live lecture The professor’s emphasis in live lecture is the best source of the professor’s probable focus and style.
Rehearse What - will be asked When – time of day (exams!) How long – (exams!) Even where, if your classroom is open for studying
Try to zero in on what will be asked and then practice beforehand with your books open.
Desensitization - reduces stress gradually through repeated exposure Practice taking tests o Test prep books like for the ACT,SAT, AP o Sample questions from your professor o Write your own possible questions o Work with a study group to invent questions o Websites of ten have practice questions that could work Set up a schedule to work on questions daily o For a regular and extended period of time Practice as realistically as possible o Place, time, duration Accumulate your successes and reinforce your confidence
Get psyched UP, but not OUT Adrenaline rush hurts: o Rapid heart rate o Sweaty palms o Rapid breathing o Upset stomach o Numb o Cold o Tense Worst thinking and memory retrieval Adrenaline rush helps: o Confident o Alert and energetic Best thinking and memory retrieval
Want to experience some intellectual stress? redred blueblue greengreen redred
Zoom IN to your anxiety Follow your fears to the very worst thing that could happen, all the way to the absurd. Then backtrack to find a reasonable level of concern and address it.
Zoom OUT from the situation In your imagination, float out and away from your stress, viewing it as a detached outside observer Not to belittle or avoid problems, but to gain some perspective
Zoom OUT into time Imagine yourself one week, one month, one year or one decade from the present. How much will the current test/ grade matter then?
Practice relaxation techniques Breathe slowly and deeply, from your diaphragm Scan your body, untensing from the feet up, one body part at a time… Tense and relax your clenched area (shoulders, jaw, hands, stomach) Visualize yourself to a better place – find a place (mountains, seashore, snuggled in bed) that works for you and practice getting back there
If you feel yourself beginning to panic during the test, try the following: close your eyes and take a deep breath hold it for four counts, saying to yourself, "Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it," then breathe out smoothly…
swimming or walking along the beach. while thinking of something that relaxes you such as swimming or walking along the beach.