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Test Anxiety & Stress Management Skills

Jul 18, 2015



Test Anxiety Management Skills

Test Anxiety & Stress Management SkillsPresented by:Shawn Brodie, MAPCOffice of Academic AdvisingWhat is Anxiety?Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcomeWhat is Test Anxiety?An excessive stress that hinders a persons ability to perform well before or during a test.Can exhibit its presence in several ways:PhysicalEmotionalCognitiveBehavioralPhysical Symptoms of AnxietyRapid heartbeatNauseaMuscle tensionShakinessHeadachesSweatingIncreased blood pressureEmotional Symptoms of AnxietyFearAngerFrustrationFeelings of hopelessnessNervousnessFatigueCognitive Symptoms of AnxietyPoor concentrationConfusionDisorientationNegative self-talkGoing blankFixating on one item too longCareless mistakesBehavioral Symptoms of AnxietyAggressive behaviorProcrastinationShaky voiceSadness, cryingPoor postureWhat Causes Test Anxiety?What do you all think?Recall from your own experiencesSources of Test AnxietyBeing under-preparedCrammingStudent who cram do not end up retaining the information in the long run (this can be harmful with cumulative/comprehensive exams)Cramming can be detrimental as it often reminds students of how much they do not know Students who cram often sacrifice sleep for studying, which is harmful because our brains and bodies need sleep to function better

Studying sleep = poor academic performanceSources of Test Anxiety (cont.)Past ExperiencesPast poor performances can leave an impression in our mindsCan lead to low self-esteem or negative self-talk that sets us up for failureSources of Test Anxiety (cont.)Fear of FailureConcerns about disappointing othersConcerns about GPAConcerns about scholarships, grants, financial aidConcerns about failing a class and being behind in your academic progressSources of Test Anxiety (cont.)Poor Test-Taking SkillsHow many of you did not have to study for tests in high school?Many students never learn how to be a good test-takerMany students do not know how to answer different types of questionsMany students do not know how to manage their time while taking a testAnxiety is normal!Studies have shown that everyone experiences anxiety when placed in uncomfortable situations or various firsts in lifeTaking an exam, getting married, changing jobs, etc.First dates, first jobs, first child, etc.

Test Anxiety can be used to your benefitIf you can identify your own anxiety, you can use it to become better prepared for an examTest Anxiety StrategiesBe PreparedDevelop good study habitsStudy in small increments 1-2 weeks before the examSit in the front of the class during lectures (try it!)Develop Effective Test-Taking SkillsRead directionsDont spend too much time on one questionif you dont know the answer, skip it and come back to itMaintain a Positive AttitudeUse positive self-talk throughout the examRemember that your self-worth is not defined by a test gradeExpect curve balls throughout the exam; dont get wrapped up on a question to which you may not know the answerTest Anxiety Strategies (cont.)Stay FocusedConcentrate on the test, not anything else around youPractice Relaxation TechniquesTake a deep breath before the examIf you feel yourself getting worked up during the exam, stop and breath, then continue onStay HealthySLEEPUtilize your study time, but also take time for yourself before and after an examUtilize campus resourcesTutoring, professors, TAs, Counseling ServicesStress ManagementOftentimes, anxiety is produced from unhealthy levels of stressIt is important to be able to identify your stressors and take action to minimize the amount of stress you feelHow to Manage Stress 101Identify your stressors:SchoolWorkPersonal relationshipsFamilyFinancial obligations

It is important to understand and accept your role in the stress in your lifeHow to Manage Stress 101Identify your coping skillsHealthy Coping SkillsExerciseSpend time with friends/family/etc.HobbiesUnhealthy Coping SkillsAlcoholDrugsWithdrawal from othersTaking stress out on others

Having healthy coping skills plays a major role in stress reduction on a daily basisHow to Manage Stress 101Avoid unnecessary stressLearn to say no to others and be assertiveAvoid people who cause you stressTake control of your environmentCreate and manage to-do lists (this can lead to better time management skills)Adjust your attitudeLook at the big pictureFocus on the positiveAccept the fact that there are things beyond your control that you cannot changeHow to Manage Stress 101Make time for yourselfSchedule time to relaxMake sure to spend time with othersDo something you enjoy every dayMaintain a positive attitudeTry to eat healthy (no stress eating!)Avoid drugs and alcoholGet enough sleep

Its all about self-care!Additional ResourcesOffice of Academic AdvisingLocated in Student Success Center 1220(618) 650-3701Counseling ServicesLocated in Student Success Center 0220(618) 650-2842

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