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TEST ANXIETY& TEST-TAKING TEST ANXIETY Distribute Pre-Test to workshop participants How did you feel about being given a test? • ALL anxiety is a reaction to anticipating something stressful. • Under stress, the body releases the hormone “adrenaline”, which prepares the body for danger. • This is the “flight or fight” reaction. • Anxiety creates a vicious circle: the more a person focuses on bad things that could happen, the stronger the anxiety becomes. PHYSICAL SIGNS • Perspiration • Sweaty palms • Headache • Upset stomach • Rapid heart beat • Tense muscles What Causes Test Anxiety? • Lack of preparation: cramming the night before the exam poor time management failure to organize text information poor study habits • Worrying about: past performance on exams how friends and other students are doing the negative consequences of failure EFFECTS OF TEST ANXIETY • Nervousness • Mental blocks • Difficulty organizing thoughts • Difficulty concentrating on questions • Remembering answers after the test is over HOW TO REDUCE ANXIETY Preparing for or ANTICIPATING ANXIETY • Focus on dealing with what you have to do • Take one step at a time • Think about what YOU CAN DO • Think RATIONALLY • Don’t WORRY; worrying accomplishes nothing CONFRONTING/HANDLING ANXIETY • Don’t think about FEAR; just think about what you have to do • Stay relevant • Relax….you’re in control. • Take slow…..deep breaths • Expect some anxiety; it’s a reminder not to panic but to relax and cope steadily with the situation. COPING w/BEING OVERWHELMED • When the FEAR comes, just PAUSE. • Keep the focus on the PRESENT: what is it you have to do? • Expect some fear to arise. • Don’t try to eliminate fear totally; just keep it manageable. • You CAN reason your fear away. • Describe what is around you. That way you won’t think about worrying. REINFORCING SELF STATEMENTS • “It worked. I did it!” • “I am getting better. I am learning to cope more smoothly.” • “It wasn’t as bad as I expected.” • “I can be pleased with my progress.” • “I made more out of fear than it was worth!” • “I like how I handled it. I can be proud of myself.” TECHNIQUES TO DECREASE ANXIETY • CHANGE THOUGHT PATTERNS • PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION CHANGE THOUGHT PATTERNS Changing negative self-talk to more rational, objective, productive, affirming thoughts. • “If I don’t get an “A”, I might as • All-or-nothing thinking well fail.” • “If I fail this test, I’ll never • Catastrophic thinking graduate.” • “If they’ve already finished, I • Comparison thinking must be doing something wrong.” • Negative filter • “I can’t solve this problem. Oh no! Now what am I going to do.” PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION Combine muscle relaxation with deep breathing, positive imagery, and isometrics to calm your body and your mind. • Tense and relax each major muscle group in progression. • Take 3 calming breaths in through your nose and mouth. • Stretch your neck and arms to release tension. • Practice visualizing yourself preparing for the test, taking the test, getting the test back with positive results. OTHER SUGGESTIONS • Before you begin studying and before you begin a test, FOCUS on your thumbnail for 2 minutes. • This will relax you and create a link between the information you studied and your ability to recall the information when taking the test. Right Brain/Left Brain LEFT RIGHT • The Left brain is where information is stored. • When you feel Anxious (emotional), the Right side of the brain is activated… …No data gets in! BRAIN SOLUTION • To get out of the Right brain & into the Left, before a test: write down the directions to a friend’s house try to recall phone numbers do simple addition/subtraction problems. TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES BEFORE THE TEST • Start preparing for exams the first day of • Reread your lecture class. notes & ask yourself • Review your questions on the syllabus carefully to material you don’t see when, how know well. many exams there • Review for short will be. periods of time. • Plan reviews as part . of your regularly weekly study schedule DURING THE TEST • Read directions carefully. • Preview the test to see how much time you need to allot each to each section. • Work on “easiest” parts first. • Save time at the end of the exam to review. AFTER THE TEST • If the instructor reviews the exam in class, make sure you attend. • When you receive your test back, go over it to determine areas of strength & weakness in your test-taking skills • If you have done poorly, learn from your mistakes. • Always analyze your test results. BEST KEPT SECRET! • On a 3”x 5” card (front & back), write everything you know about the subject you will be tested on. • The act of writing down the information will help you remember. TRUE-FALSE QUESTIONS • Qualifying words • When you don’t know make the question the answer, mark it true: usually, some, might, TRUE. There are generally seldom, often, sometimes, may more true questions than false. • Negative words or • Look for any factor prefixes complicate that will make a the statement: prefixes statement false. un, im, miss alter the meaning of a statement. Double • Look for extreme negatives make a positive: “not uncommon” = “common” modifiers that make the question false: all, • Questions that state a always, only, none, never, best, reason tend to be worst… false. MULTIPLE CHOICE • Formulate your own answer before reading the options. • Eliminate unlikely answers first. • Select numbered answers from the middle range, not the extremes. EX. The height of a mountain is requested… eliminate 20, 000 ft and 3,000 ft. Then choose between 8,000 ft and 11,000 ft • Select answers that are longer and more descriptive. • Similar answers give you a clue! One of them is correct, the other is disguised. • Watch out for “Not True?” Eliminate what is true. MATCHING QUESTIONS • Examine both lists to determine the types of items and their relationships. • Use one list as a starting point & go through the second list to find a match. • Move through the entire list before selecting a match because a more correct answer may follow. • Cross off items on the second list when you are certain that you have match. • Do not guess until all absolute matches have been made. FILL IN THE BLANK • Concentrate on the number of blanks in the sentence and the length of the space. • Provide a descriptive answer when you cannot think of the exact word or words. The instructor may reward you with partial credit. ESSAY QUESTIONS • Organize your thoughts before you begin to write. • Paraphrase the original question to form your introductory statement. • Use the principles of English composition. • Write clearly! Teachers need to be able to read it. • Use bullets or lists whenever possible. • Identify the verbs or words in the question that give you direction….summarize, discuss, explain. FINAL THOUGHTS • Anxiety CAN be managed. • Test-taking is a skill that CAN be learned. • Old dogs can learn new tricks and so CAN YOU!!!
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