Presentation on theme: "Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety"— Presentation transcript:
1 Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety Darcy BarrickChristelle Le FaucheurSanger Learning CenterSchool 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 researchIdentify four parts of the suggested integrated approach to test anxietySuggest effective self-calming strategies to students experiencing test anxietyIdentify 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 signsUpset stomachRestlessnessSleep problemsMuscle tensionHeadacheBack problemsPsychological signsConfusionMemory blankingIrritabilityImpaired concentrationPoor judgmentFrustration
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 ResearchComes from a number of fields including education, counseling, behavioral science, and various branches of psychologyOverlaps with research areas such asSelf-efficacyLearned helplessnessSelf regulationMotivationPerfectionismPersonality traits
7 Biological Constitution Origins of Test AnxietyBiological ConstitutionSocialization and Early Childhood ExperiencesTest AnxietyEducational EnvironmentUnique Learning ExperiencesConfiguration 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 MilestonesCognitive-attentional (interference) model (Wine (1971)worry, cognitive interference, and self-denigrationSkills 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, hopelessnessPhysical symptomsTension, elevated heart rate, nausea, sweatingBehaviorProcrastination, avoidance, ineffective study and escapismCognitionSelf-preoccupied thinkingImpaired information processingInput (Encoding and Acquisition)Storage and ProcessingRetrieval and Output
11 Test Anxiety and Information Processing InputEncoding and AcquisitionStorage and ProcessingRetrieval andOutputTEST ANXIETYIMPACT OF TEST ANXIETY AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF INFORMATION PROCESSING, ZEIDNER 1998
12 Academic Outcomes60 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 understandingAcademic persistence and achievement can be negatively impacted.
13 Test anxiety is a complex, multidimensional construct Heterogeneous nature of test anxietyDevelops from multiple pathwaysYields different types of test-anxious studentsDemands an integrated approach to treatmentDamer and Melendres, 2011
15 History > Reframing > Self-Calming > Study Effectiveness Helping Students Deal Effectively with Test Anxiety: An Integrated ApproachHistory > Reframing > Self-Calming > Study Effectiveness
16 Additional referral options at UT Austin Counseling and Mental Health CenterPrivate counseling appointmentsShort-term test anxiety groupStress management class (Optimizing Your Potential)Mindfulness meditation groupOn-line resources --Mind/Body Lab – guided relaxation recordings, massage chairs, biofeedback
17 Student HistoryDuration – origin (elementary, secondary, college, etc.)Intensity -- from 1-10Any complete blanking, how long does it last*Intense physical symptoms* such as fainting or vomiting?Stress level on non-test days*ImpactExperience of life – tired, stressed, etc.Outcomes – grades > ability to study > motivation for schoolOtherAnxiety 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 task2. Primary job during a testTo think… as clearly as possibly based on what I currently knowChoosing a job within your controlGet it all right / Not make any mistakesDo better than other peopleProve something to the professorGet into pharmacy schoolMake my parents happyMake my family proudGet an A
19 3. Secondary job – to self-calm Some anxiety improves performanceIf 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 EmotionsThoughtsBody
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 ResourcesBibliography Instruments for Assessing Test Anxiety As a result of this session, I will ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________CTAS: 44 items, now down to 27 Skill Component of Strategic LearningThe 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 LearningThe 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 LearningThe 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.