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Test-Taking Techniques & Test Anxiety Angela Hardwick Academic Success Center April 27, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Test-Taking Techniques & Test Anxiety Angela Hardwick Academic Success Center April 27, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Test-Taking Techniques & Test Anxiety Angela Hardwick Academic Success Center April 27, 2006

2 Preparing for and Taking Test Test measure your ability to remember facts and figures and your understanding of information. Objective (multiple choice) tests are often designed to make you think independently, so don’t count on recognizing the right answer.

3 Preparing for and Taking Tests Instead, prepare yourself for high level critical reasoning and for making fine discriminations to determine the best answer. Know and understand the power of test.

4 Preparing for and Taking Tests Tests can: Determine if you get into a particular school. Pass a class Achieve academic success Graduate Get a job

5 Preparing for and Taking Tests Tests do not; Indicate your level of learning Level of Proficiency Personal worth Level of knowledge

6 Preparing for and Taking Tests Because tests have this incredible power over us, it makes sense to try to do our best on them. It is important to understand how you approach tests (i.e. assess your testing skills) as well as how you approach two specific types of test: objective and essay.

7 During the Objective Test Do the Drill! Be prepared emotionally as well as intellectually. Focus on what you know; reinforce your strengths and arrest your weaknesses. Preview the whole test before trying to answer any questions. Read the directions carefully.

8 During the Objective Test Plan your time. Allocate your time as you would any other resource. Leave time at the end to review.

9 During the Objective Test Implement a Strategy! Read the question as is. Avoid reading into the questions. Interpret questions literally. Reasoning ability is a very important skill for doing well on multiple choice tests.

10 During the Objective Test Be Active! Mark key words in every question. Do not panic if you see a question you did not anticipate. Use everything you know to analyze the question and create a logical answer. Remember to relax

11 Quick Quiz 1. Are you aware of being really nervous on a test, may be so nervous that you don’t do your best and you lose points, even though you studied well and are prepared?

12 Quick Quiz 2. Does your stomach ever get tight or upset before or during a test? Are your hands cold and sweaty? Headaches? Do you have trouble sleeping the night before a test?

13 Quick Quiz 3.Do you ever find your mind racing, or dull or “muddy”, so that you can’t think clearly while taking a test?

14 Quick Quiz 4. Do you ever forget material you studied and learned, maybe to remember it again later after the test is over?

15 Quick Quiz 5. Do you “overanalyze” questions, see too many possibilities, choose the complex answer and overlook- and miss- the simpler, correct ones?

16 Quick Quiz 6. Do you make many careless errors on tests?

17 Key A yes answer to any one of these questions suggest that you may be experiencing test anxiety

18 FYI It is estimated that as many as 20% of college students may suffer from nervousness that is so severe a couple of things may happen.

19 FYI 1. Their grades may drop, because anxiety interferes with their mental processes and keeps them from doing their best. 2. The quality of their life may decline, because they’re so miserable when they have to take test.

20 Solution Most test-takers may benefit from suggestions for ways to self-calm and maintain a productive level of tension while preparing for and taking tests

21 How to Keep Calm During Tests 1. Prepare well in advance. Keep up every day if you can, but don’t judge yourself harshly if you don’t. Avoid last-minute cramming. Don’t go without sleep the night before.

22 Keeping Calm 2. Know the time and place of the test and what you need to bring. Be on time, neither too early nor too late, with blue books or supplies. Don’t rush. 3. Don’ t talk about the test with classmates immediately beforehand, especially if you know this sort of thing raises your anxiety level.

23 Keeping Calm 4. Read over the test and plan your approach. Ascertain point values per part, time limits for each section, which question you’ll start with to boost your confidence, ect.

24 Keeping Calm 5. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification from the professor, teaching assistant, or proctor if you have questions about instructions, procedure, ect.

25 Keeping Calm 6. Be clear about your job. A test is a thinking task, and your job during the exam is to think as clearly as possible based on what you currently know. Focus on your job ( the thinking process) and practice letting go of what you don’t control( the grading). Approach the test determined to think to the best of your ability, but also accept the limits of what you currently know.

26 Keeping Calm 7. Reduce anxiety with activity. If you go blank and can’t think of anything to write, go on to another question or another part of the test. On an essay question, jot down anything you can recall on scratch paper to simulate your memory and get your mind working

27 Keeping Calm 8. Relax yourself physically during the test, especially if you notice that you are not thinking well or your muscles are tight. Pause, put your test down, and take several slow, deep breaths. Tense and release your muscles. Do this in particular if you notice that you are worrying excessively about one problem, not reading carefully, and unable to recall information you know.

28 Keeping Calm 9. Pay attention to the test, not to others. Don’t waste time wondering how other people are doing.

29 Relaxation Exercise Close your eyes. Keep your mind focused on the task of just sitting upright in your chair. Relax your feet, arms Let your mind focus on the task at hand.

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