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A QUICK REFERENCE By Sonia C. Blyther TEST ANXIETY DEFINED Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which a person experiences distress before, during,

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Presentation on theme: "A QUICK REFERENCE By Sonia C. Blyther TEST ANXIETY DEFINED Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which a person experiences distress before, during,"— Presentation transcript:


2 A QUICK REFERENCE By Sonia C. Blyther

3 TEST ANXIETY DEFINED Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which a person experiences distress before, during, or after an exam or other assessment to such an extent that this anxiety causes poor performance or interferes with normal learning. ( exam anxietylearning About 16--20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today. Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. (American Test Anxiety Association)

4 SYMPTOMS OF TEST ANXIETY Physical headaches, nausea or diarrhea, extreme body temperature changes, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, light-headedness or fainting, rapid heart beat, and/or dry mouth. Emotional excessive feelings of fear, disappointment, anger, depression, uncontrollable crying or laughing, feelings of helplessness Behavioral fidgeting, pacing, substance abuse, avoidance Cognitive racing thoughts, 'going blank', difficulty concentrating, negative self-talk, feelings of dread, comparing yourself to others, difficulty organizing your thoughts. (


6 A.S.P.I.R.E. A: Approach/attitude/arrange Approach your studies with a positive attitude Arrange your schedule to eliminate distractions S: Select/survey/study! Select a reasonable chunk of material to study Survey the headings, graphics, pre- and post questions to get an overview Study marking any information you dont understand

7 A.S.P.I.R.E. P: Put aside/piece together: Put aside your books and notes Piece together what you've studied, either alone, with a study pal or group, and summarize what you understand. I: Inspect/Investigate/inquire/: Inspect what you did not understand. Investigate alternative sources of information you can refer to: other text books, websites, experts, tutors, etc. Inquire from support professionals (academic support, librarians, tutors, teachers, experts,) for assistance.

8 A.S.P.I.R.E. R: Reconsider/reflect/relay Reconsider the content: If I could speak to the author, what questions would I ask or what criticism would I offer? Reflect on the material: How can I apply this material to what I am interested in? Relay understanding: How would I make this information interesting and understandable to other students? E: Evaluate/examine/explore: Evaluate your grades on tests and tasks look for a pattern. Examine your process toward improving it. Explore options with a teacher, support professional, tutor, etc.

9 STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TEST Be prepared. Review the material in advance; cramming for exams a day before the test in general is ineffective. Get plenty of sleep; its difficult to function effectively when overtired. Avoid any use of drugs and alcohol; they can impede your mental ability. Exercise. Working out may increase your alertness and sharpen your mind.

10 STRATEGIES FOR DAY OF TEST Have a moderate breakfast, fresh fruits and vegetables help reduce stress; avoid caffeine, sugar and junk foods. Allow yourself plenty of time; arrive at the testing site early. Choose a seat where you will not be easily distracted. Use abdominal breathing to help reduce anxiety (e.g., Inhale through your nose filling up your abdomen; count to three on your inhalation and then slowly exhale counting to four). Do a reality check; how important is this exam in the grand scheme of things? Put it in perspective. Use positive affirmations (e.g., Ive performed well on exams in the past, I can do it again; or, Ive adequately prepared for this exam and feel confident about my ability).


12 DURING THE TEST Read the directions carefully Budget your test taking time Change positions to help you relax If you go blank, skip the question and go on If you're taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind. Don't panic when students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for being the first done

13 If you find yourself tensing and getting anxious during the test Relax; you are in control. Take slow, deep breaths Don't think about the fear. Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step. Use positive reinforcement for yourself: Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best. Expect some anxiety. It's a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide energy. Just keep it manageable. Realize that anxiety can be a "habit and that it takes practice to use it as a tool to succeed.

14 Anxiety- release exercise STOP, DROP and ROLL

15 DEEP BREATHING EXERCISE DEEP BREATHING 1. Sit straight up in your chair in a good posture position. 2. Slowly inhale through your nose. 3. As you inhale, first fill the lower section of your lungs and work your way up to the upper part of your lungs. 4. Hold your breath for a few seconds. 5. Exhale slowly through your mouth. 6. Wait a few seconds and repeat the cycle.


17 AFTER THE TEST, REVIEW HOW YOU DID List what worked, and hold onto these strategies It does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success. List what did not work for improvement. Try not to dwell on perceived mistakes made during the testing period. Indulge yourself in something you find relaxing and pleasurable thats safe and non-threatening. Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle.

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