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Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . . Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . . Tests are inescapable facts of life. The list of ways that you have been tested goes on. By the time you finish high school, you have taken hundreds of exams.

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Test anxiety a snapshot

  • Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

  • Tests are inescapable facts of life. The list of ways that you have been tested goes on. By the time you finish high school, you have taken hundreds of exams.

  • But test-taking doesn't end with high school graduation. The person who wants to attend college usually must take an entrance examination, such as the ACT or SAT. And, first-year college students quickly learn about something known as "finals week".

    Tests are required in other circumstances too and for a variety of purposes. Lawyers, psychologists, and nurses take licensure exams;school teachers and accountants take certification exams; and civil service tests are used in the hiring process for many state and federal government positions like mail carriers, forest rangers, and FBI agents.

    No doubt about it, test scores and the grades based

    upon them are important. A specified level of performance is necessary to move into the next grade, enter a university, earn academic credit, obtain a job, or become eligible to legally practice aprofession.


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

  • Everyone has his or her own personal reactions to

  • taking exams. As you think about tests, you might find the word "fail" comes to mind. Maybe your hands start to sweat.Perhaps you begin to feel nervous. If you are test anxious, then you have discovered that anxiety can interfere with your reaching some desirable goals.

    Test anxiety affects real people. Many of these real people have shared their personal experiences with us. Let's turn briefly to a few individuals who may be like you or someone you know.


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Johnis a 19 year old college sophomore. He is a B student. It is two days before his first history test of the semester.

He hasn't missed a class; he has kept up with the reading assignments; his notes are complete.

As John settles in to review for the test he can feel a knot in his stomach. “I don't know all this material”

hethinks as he pages through his text.

"There's no way I can learn it all before Wednesday." He starts to feel restless and he drums his pen on the desk.

"Mom and dad are going to be real upset if I don'tdo well."

His thoughts wander to what he will do for a career if he doesn't pass this test.


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Bettyis a 43 year old college student who is just beginning her college work. She has raised two children, both of whom are now out of the house.

Betty decided to try college.

On the first day of class the instructor hands out the course outline. She hears the instructor say, "There will be two exams and a final test. Your course grade will be based on them."

Suddenly she feels a throbbing in her forehead. She thinks to herself, "I really don't belong here. I'm going to flunk and I'll have wasted my money and my time.“

“How can I pass these tests when I'm competing against all of these younger students?"

Betty abruptly makes plans to withdraw from college.


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Mattis 28 years old and recently earned his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from a well known university. He wants to see clients for individual therapy in a private practice. To do that, he must take and pass a licensure

exam.

Matt has taken many exams before, including a difficult comprehensive exam for his doctoral degree. It is the day before the exam.

Matt has been studying his material for three

months.

He begins to think. "What if I don't pass this test?

I won't be able to work. I'll have to tell my advisor that I failed. I'll be an embarrassment to myself and everyone else.“

“What am I going to do?"


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Martyis a 21 year old senior. She will graduate in May with a respectable G. P. A. Marty has always worried about her tests, even though she usually does OK.

Today she is taking the Graduate Record Exam for entrance into Graduate School .

She arrived at the test site 20 minutes early. "This is going to be a tough test." She takes her assigned seat.

As the test is handed out she feels her heart

racing and feels the sweat on her hands.

"I don't know if I can handle this test. I

should have prepared better."She looks at the first question and doesn't know the answer. "I've had it."

She stares at the page and her mind goes blank. She can't seem to remember anything  


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Test Anxiety: Why Worry About It?

You might wonder if reading these guides, without also consulting a professional counselor, can really make a difference for you.

The self-help approach, preferred

by many individuals, has been

applied to a range of concerns and problems. It

has been applied to test anxiety, too. In fact, a

study conducted with test anxious college students at Florida State University found that reading and following written instructions was an effective method for the reduction of test anxiety.

Your test anxiety may be a recent development

or a problem you have had for years.

Individuals sometimes believe that if one has

had a problem for a long time then it will take

a long time to overcome it.

We have found--to the contrary--that many of our students have achieved relatively rapid results by the diligent application of the strategies we present.


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Test Anxiety: Why Worry About It?

Individuals who accomplish long-term goals work at them and plan ahead. Remember some of the things you have accomplished in your life and how you worked hard to achieve them. In a word, you were motivated.

Overcoming test anxiety is a long-term goal that is quite achievable. Your first step is to make a commitment to work towards this goal. Make that commitment now, and then get ready to take charge of your test anxiety.

Adapted with Permission-9/07: Bihm, E. and Ness, E., University of Central Arkansas. “Take

Charge of Your Test Anxiety: The Five Rs Approach.” Unpublished Manuscript.

Arkansas Photographs Used with Permission-11/07: Steve Twaddle, www.arkansasphotographed.com


Test anxiety a snapshot

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . .

Test Anxiety: A Snapshot . . . Is the first in a series of Resource Guides Devoted to helping students conquer their test anxiety.

The series is made available by the Enhanced Learning Center of the University of Arkansas

Adapted with Permission-9/07: Bihm, E. and Ness, E., University of Central Arkansas.. “Take

Charge of Your Test Anxiety: The Five Rs Approach.” Unpublished Manuscript.

Arkansas Photographs Used with Permission-11/07: Steve Twaddle, www.arkansasphotographed.com


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