Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety"— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety
Darcy Barrick Christelle Le Faucheur Sanger Learning Center School of Undergraduate Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

2 Objectives For professionals to be able to
Speak to the history of & trends in test anxiety research Identify four parts of the suggested integrated approach to test anxiety Suggest effective self-calming strategies to students experiencing test anxiety Identify times when it would be important to refer test anxiety students to counseling/mental health services

3 What is Anxiety? Physiological / psychological response to a perceived threat.
Physiological signs Upset stomach Restlessness Sleep problems Muscle tension Headache Back problems Psychological signs Confusion Memory blanking Irritability Impaired concentration Poor judgment Frustration

4 What is Test Anxiety? Test anxiety is defined as perceived arousal, reported worry, self-denigrating thoughts, tension, and reports of somatic symptoms in exams or similar evaluative situations. Estimated to impact as many as 20-35% of students (Zeidner, 1998) Seems to be on the increase as more emphasis is placed on test in the public school system and as tests increasingly determine admission to specific programs/schools. (Kadison & DiGeronimo,2004)

5 What Test Anxiety Is Not
A diagnostic category on its own (although it can be one manifestation of other diagnoses such as anxiety disorders, depression, attention disorders, or learning disorders that may legally entitle a student to classroom accommodations) An experience caused solely by insufficient preparation (although preparation techniques are a key element in positively impacting the anxiety experience)

6 Research Comes from a number of fields including education, counseling, behavioral science, and various branches of psychology Overlaps with research areas such as Self-efficacy Learned helplessness Self regulation Motivation Perfectionism Personality traits

7 Biological Constitution
Origins of Test Anxiety Biological Constitution Socialization and Early Childhood Experiences Test Anxiety Educational Environment Unique Learning Experiences Configuration of factors in test anxiety development, in Zeidner, 1998

8 Test Anxiety Research: Milestones
Drive-oriented and physiological stress/arousal perspectives( Mandler and S. Sarason's 1952) Liebert and Morris (1967) – constructs of emotionality (physiological arousal) and worry (concern about performance) “Trait anxiety refers to anxiety that is chronic and pervasive across situations and is not triggered by specific events. State anxiety refers to anxiety that occurs in specific situation and usually has a clear trigger” (Huberty, 35).

9 More Milestones Cognitive-attentional (interference) model (Wine (1971) worry, cognitive interference, and self-denigration Skills deficits (Culler & Halahan 1980; Kirkland and Hollandsworth, 1980) Self-regulation (Carver & Scheier, 1991) Self-worth (Covington, 1992) Spielberger’s Transactional model and State-Trait Model (Spielberger & Vagg,1995) Anxiety as a personality trait (A-Trait) and as a personality state (A-State)

10 What It Impacts Affect Physical symptoms Behavior Cognition
Worry, depression, hopelessness Physical symptoms Tension, elevated heart rate, nausea, sweating Behavior Procrastination, avoidance, ineffective study and escapism Cognition Self-preoccupied thinking Impaired information processing Input (Encoding and Acquisition) Storage and Processing Retrieval and Output

11 Test Anxiety and Information Processing
Input Encoding and Acquisition Storage and Processing Retrieval and Output TEST ANXIETY IMPACT OF TEST ANXIETY AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF INFORMATION PROCESSING, ZEIDNER 1998

12 Academic Outcomes 60 years of research have demonstrated a clear negative association between test anxiety and academic performance. Students don’t perform to their potential and scores misrepresents their level of knowledge and understanding Academic persistence and achievement can be negatively impacted.

13 Test anxiety is a complex, multidimensional construct
Heterogeneous nature of test anxiety Develops from multiple pathways Yields different types of test-anxious students Demands an integrated approach to treatment Damer and Melendres, 2011

14 Intervention Meta-analysis of 56 empirical test anxiety intervention studies (Ergene, 2003) Most effective are combination of Skill-focused strategies (study skills training, test-taking skills training) with Cognitive approach (rational emotive therapy, cognitive restructuring) and/or Behavioral approach (systematic desensitization, relaxation training, biofeedback, anxiety inductions)

15 History > Reframing > Self-Calming > Study Effectiveness
Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety: An Integrated Approach History > Reframing > Self-Calming > Study Effectiveness

16 Additional referral options at UT Austin
Counseling and Mental Health Center Private counseling appointments Short-term test anxiety group Stress management class (Optimizing Your Potential) Mindfulness meditation group On-line resources -- Mind/Body Lab – guided relaxation recordings, massage chairs, biofeedback

17 Student History Duration – origin (elementary, secondary, college, etc.) Intensity -- from 1-10 Any complete blanking, how long does it last* Intense physical symptoms* such as fainting or vomiting? Stress level on non-test days* Impact Experience of life – tired, stressed, etc. Outcomes – grades > ability to study > motivation for school Other Anxiety in other areas of life* -- social, family, relationship, finances, etc. Past diagnoses relevant to anxiety*

18 Reframing 1. What a test is 2. Primary job during a test
A thinking task 2. Primary job during a test To think … as clearly as possibly based on what I currently know Choosing a job within your control Get it all right / Not make any mistakes Do better than other people Prove something to the professor Get into pharmacy school Make my parents happy Make my family proud Get an A

19 3. Secondary job – to self-calm
Some anxiety improves performance If stress progresses to point that you can’t think, your responsibility shifts to your secondary job, to self-calm.

20 Positively impacting the anxiety experience is always a combination of learning self- calming techniques AND improving the effectiveness of study techniques.

21 Self-Calming Techniques -- see packet
Emotions Thoughts Body

22 Study Effectiveness Techniques -- see packet
Plan weekly Preview (for content and organization) Take in new information: Read<>Take lecture notes Review notes (to find and fill gaps) Self-quiz Take Test(s) Analyze results

23 Final Resources Bibliography Instruments for Assessing Test Anxiety As a result of this session, I will ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ CTAS: 44 items, now down to 27 Skill Component of Strategic Learning The LASSI scales related to the skill component of strategic learning are: Information Processing, Selecting Main Ideas and Test Strategies. These scales examine students' learning strategies, skills and thought processes related to identifying, acquiring and constructing meaning for important new information, ideas and procedures, and how they prepare for and demonstrate their new knowledge on tests or other evaluative procedures. The Will Component of Strategic Learning The LASSI Scales related to the will component of strategic learning are: Attitude, Motivation and Anxiety. These scales measure students' receptivity to learning new information, their attitudes and interest in college, their diligence, self-discipline, and willingness to exert the effort necessary to successfully complete academic requirements, and the degree to which they worry about their academic performance. The Self-regulation Component of Strategic Learning The LASSI Scales related to the self-regulation component of strategic learning are: Concentration; Time Management; Self-Testing and Study Aids. These scales measure how students manage, or self-regulate and control, the whole learning process through using their time effectively, focusing their attention and maintaining their concentration over time, checking to see if they have met the learning demands for a class, an assignment or a test, and using study supports such as review sessions, tutors or special features of a textbook.

Download ppt "Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google