UNDERSTANDING TEST ANXIETY
Mindi Federman Askelson
Riverland Community College
The purposeful application of two
or more senses to the
understanding of a subject that
produces an effect greater than the
sum of individual effects.
WHAT IS LEARNING?
Learning is taking
something you don’t
know and attaching it to
something you already
SOME PRINCIPALS OF LEARNING
Students cannot recall and apply knowledge
unless they practice retrieval and use.
Better learning results when we vary the
conditions of learning.
When learners integrate knowledge from verbal
and visual representation, they can recall it and
apply it with greater ease.
SOME PRINCIPALS OF LEARNING (CONT.)
Understanding is an interpretive process in
which students must be mentally involved.
Remembering is a creative process that
influences what learners will and will not be able
to recall and apply.
What learners do in a course will determine
what they will learn, how well they can recall it,
and conditions under which they can use it.
WHAT IS TEST ANXIETY ?
The definition of test anxiety can be summed up as
a condition where in someone emotionally or
physically experiences distress at prior, during or
after taking an exam. A psychologist’s definition
of test anxiety is wherein the anxiety gets in the
way of the person’s performance in school, to the
extent of it affecting his/her ability to learn even
CREATING YOUR OWN FEARS
Sharing Feelings – I am terrified about the test
Peer Pressure – Jamie who is the smartest
person in the class is worried.
Self-perception – I bombed that last test, there is
no way I am going to pass this one!
YOU FEEL ANXIETY AT THREE DIFFERENT
Physical – feeling really cold or really hot, not
able to breath, muscle get stiff, stomach hurts,
heart beats really fast
Emotional – mood swings, getting really weepy or
really angry, afraid of losing control
Mental- irrational thinking, feeling rejected or
like a failure, can’t concentrate, hard time
REDUCING EMOTIONAL ANXIETY
REDUCING PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
REDUCING MENTAL ANXIETY
Positive self talk
ANXIETY AND NUTRITION
You are what you eat!
Eating nutritional food plays an important role in
No direct link between preservatives and stress
has been found.
A direct links between preservative and health
has been found.
Limit your intake of nitrates, nitrites,
monosodium glutamate, artificial colorings.
Stimulates the body and can be found in coffee,
tea, pop and chocolate.
Best not eaten in large amounts the night before
Raises blood pressure and can produce some of
the same physical characteristics as anxiety.
Reduces potassium which is an important
mineral to the central nervous system.
… can cause hypoglycemia which also mimics the
physical symptoms of anxiety.
“The key to working through test-taking anxiety is
to develop awareness of your thoughts and
physical sensations. When you experience fear
with awareness, you’ll are creating a situation in
which you can choose what you want to do and
how you want to act.”
The more often you choose your reactions, the more
control you will have over how you live your life.
BECOMING MORE AWARE
…helps you develop an emotional equilibrium.
… keeps you from blowing your fearful thoughts
out of proportion.
…allows you direct your attention to a calmer
point of focus.
WORKING WITH AWARENESS TEACHES YOU
…not to react to all your thoughts.
…thoughts and feelings, no matter how pressing
will come and go.
…to be comfortable in your own body even when
experiencing sensations of unpleasant emotions.
…each thoughts bring with hit a certain
…fears more often then not are based on what
you imagine will happen, not actually what
SELF-ESTEEM AFFECTS ALL ASPECTS OF
THOUGHTS THAT ERODE SELF ESTEEM
All or nothing thinking
Converting positives into negatives
Jumping to negative conclusions
Mistaking feelings for fact
Negative self talk
IMPROVING YOUR SELF ESTEEM
Identify troubling conditions or situations
Become aware of thoughts and beliefs
Pinpoint negative or inaccurate thinking
Challenge negative or inaccurate thinking
Change your thoughts and beliefs
THOUGHTS THAT IMPROVE SELF ESTEEM
Use hopeful statements – be kind to yourself, you
can’t or won’t always be perfect.
Forgive yourself – everyone makes mistakes and
they don’t make you a bad person.
Avoid “shoulding” all over yourself – it puts
unreasonable demands on you.
Focus on the positive – what are the good parts of
Relabel upsetting thoughts – use them as signals
to become more aware of unconscious thoughts.
Encourage yourself – give yourself credit for the
positive things in your life.
LET’S TALK ABOUT PROCRASTINATION
Procrastination is when you have a goal and
postpone doing what needs to be done to reach
that goal. In other words….
OFF DOING WHATEVER
NEEDS TO BE DONE TO
GET WHAT YOU WANT!!!!!
WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE?
Because of FEAR:
boredom or restlessness
angst of wanting
IMPROVING YOUR MEMORY
WHY CAN’T I JUST MEMORIZE ALL THIS
STUFF? When you learn, it
can be recalled again
and again and
gets past here
IN OTHER WORDS…
Your memory is just like a computer – if you don’t
save the file you will not be able to open it later!
DID YOU KNOW ?????
50% of the material that is read is forgotten by
the time you have stopped reading.
After 24 hours you will only retain 20% of what
was read the previous day.
When you recall information it wears a path into
your brain called a neural trace.
Each time you remember the information it
deepens the path.
THE 80% RULE
If you review something in 6 to 24 hours of first
learning it, you will retain 80% of the
HEALTHY HABITS IMPROVE MEMORY
Exercise – increases oxygen and enhances helpful
brain chemistry and protects brain cells.
Manage stress – cortisol, the stress hormone, can
damage the hippocampus if the stress is
Good sleep habits – sleep is essential for memory
Not smoking – decrease the amount of oxygen to
Drinking water – water washes away toxins that
damage the brain.
8 SIMPLE RULES TO ENHANCE MEMORY
Pay attention. It takes about eight seconds of
intense focus to process a piece of information
into your memory.
Involve as many senses as possible
Relate information to what you already
Tailor information acquisition to your
learning style. For more information on
learning styles go to
Understand and be able to interpret
complex material.. Be able to explain it to
someone else in your own words.
Rehearse information frequently and “over-
learn”. Remember the 80% rule.
Be motivated and keep a positive attitude.
Tell yourself that you want to learn, what you
need to remember, and that you can learn and
MNEMONICS DEVICES TO IMPROVE
Mnemonics are clues of any kind that help us
remember something, usually by causing us to
associate the information we want to remember
with a visual image, a sentence, or a word.
Use positive and pleasant visual images and make
them colorful, vivid, and three dimensional – like
a rose for Rosie or a microphone for Mike.
A sentence where the first letter of each word
represents the list you want to remember. For
example the letters on the music notes on a staff
correspond to the sentence
Using the first letter of the words in the list you are
trying to remember to form a new word
RHYMES, SONGS AND ALLITERATION
Thirty days has September, April, June and
A,B,C is sung to the tune of……..
Grouping information into “bite size” pieces
METHOD OF LOCI
Associate each part of what you have to remember
with a landmark in a route or the layout of a
room or home you know well.
EXERCISES TO IMPROVE YOUR MIND
Monster garden, lost in migration, word bubbles,
Using the companion website resources take
practice tests and quizzes
Do the crossword puzzles, flash cards and any
other interactive tutorials listed
List additional interactive or free tutorials
Minnesota Learning Commons