The Student Success Blog will update you with useful resources, services and activities in our ESL Program and throughout the college. You will also find useful links for self study and study skills tips. Visit the blog often as information is updated weekly. Submissions, links or ideas for the blog are always welcome! Have a wonderful session at the School of ESL!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Test Anxiety: Tips and Advice

HOW do I know if I have TEST ANXIETY?

You probably have test anxiety if you answer YES to four or more of the following:

1. I have a hard time getting started studying for a test.

2. When studying for a test, I find many things that distract me.

3. I expect to do poorly on a test no matter how much or how hard I study.

4. When taking a test, I experience physical discomfort such as sweaty palms, an upset stomach, a headache, difficulty breathing, and tension in my muscles.

5. When taking a test, I find it difficult to understand the directions and questions.

6. When taking a test, I have difficulty organizing my thoughts.

7. When taking a test, I often “draw a blank.”

8. When taking a test, I find my mind wandering to other things.

9. I usually score lower on a test than I do on assignments and papers.

10. After a test, I remember information I couldn’t recall during the test.

Visit the PAL Centre for strategies and relaxation techniques located in room E139 at Casa Loma (inside the Life Works Centre).

TIPS:  What can you do to control test anxiety?
    Include as much self-testing in your review as possible.  THIS IS ESSENTIALLY THE MOST EFFECCTIVE THING YOU CAN DO.  Instead of just reading and reviewing your notes over and over, find an old test, use review questions from your texts or just plain write your own test and put away your study notes.  Write the test over and over again until you get comfortable with the idea that you really remember the information and can recall it for the test. Then when it comes time for the real exam, you feel confident and ready.
    Join or start a Study Group and study together.  Students who study in groups are more effective and efficient than those who study individually.

    Maintain a healthy lifestyle: get enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise, some personal "down" time, and a reasonable amount of social interaction.

    As you anticipate the exam, think positively, e.g., "I can do OK on this exam. I've studied and I know my stuff."

    Before you go to bed on the night before the exam, organize anything that you will need for the exam Double check the time of the exam and the location.

    Set the alarm clock and then get a good night's sleep before the exam.

    Get to the exam on time - not too late but not too early.

    Be cautious about talking to other students about the exam material just before going into the exam, especially if this will make you more anxious.

    Sit in a location in the exam room where you will be distracted as little as possible.

    As the papers are distributed, calm yourself by taking some slow deep breaths.

    Make sure to carefully read any instructions on the exam.

    As you work on the exam, focus only on the exam, not on what other students are doing or on thinking about past exams or future goals.

    If you feel very anxious in the exam, take a few minutes to calm yourself. Stretch your arms and legs and then relax them again. Do this a couple of times. Take a few slow deep breaths. Do some positive internal self-talk; say to yourself, "I will be OK, I can do this."

    If the exam is more difficult than you anticipated, try to focus and just do your best. It might be enough to get you through with a reasonable grade.

                BEST ADVICE – Talk with a Counsellor, Room C317 at Casa Loma. We are happy to chat with students and help guide you with study skills and further tips to feel calm and confident!!

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