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Test Anxiety In Elementary Students Causes And Solutions ACEI Conference: March 18-21, 2009 Presentation by: Karen Sovesky * What is it? Unpleasant emotion that reflects distress or apprehension of some type * Can be caused by: • Having too much

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Test Anxiety In Elementary Students

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Test anxiety in elementary students l.jpg

Test Anxiety In Elementary Students

Causes

And

Solutions


Acei conference march 18 21 2009 l.jpg

ACEI Conference: March 18-21, 2009

Presentation by: Karen Sovesky


Test anxiety l.jpg

* What is it?

Unpleasant emotion

that reflects distress

or apprehension of

some type

* Can be caused by:

• Having too much

information that

one cannot process

fully

• Not having enough

information that makes

one feel helpless

Test Anxiety


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Trait

Students preconceived idea of the test

State

Anxiety experienced during the test

Types of Test Anxiety


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Trait Test Anxiety

* The student that enters the test situation with trait anxiety may have the greatest fear of the test before they take it.

* These students feel threatened by the test even before they begin to experience it.


State test anxiety l.jpg

State Test Anxiety

* The student that exhibits the state test anxiety usually just experiences this degree of anxiety during the assessment period itself.

* It has been suggested that this type of anxiety may be a case of “stage fright.”


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Possible Causes of Anxiety

Family Issues

* Divorce

* Illness of a family

member

* Financial difficulties

* Abusive Relationship

* Poor physical living environment

* Death of family member


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Other Stressors

School Environment

* Poor relationship with the teacher

* Lack of a support group of friends

* Embarrassed about the clothing they wear

* Poor study habits

* Lack of coping strategies


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Physical Issues

* Lack of sleep

* Eating improperly

* Physical ailments

• Headaches

• Stomachaches


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Testing Environment

* Too hot or cold in the

testing environment

* Distractions

•Too noisy

•Weather conditions

* Lunchtime is approaching

* Time factor

* Lack of proper writing implements


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Where Does Fear Resonate in the Body?

In the

AMYGDALA


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Amygdala: Emotional Memories of Fear


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Amygdala Routes


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Amygdala Bypass System

* Sensory data fed to thalamus

* Data sent to amygdala

* Data also sent to cortex

* Amygdala does quick threat assessment

* Amygdala blocks ‘slow thinking’

* Unthinking response


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Two Pathways of Fear

* External stimulus

reaches the amygdala in

two different ways.

• By a short, fast,

imprecise route from

the thalamus

• By a long, slow,

precise route from the

cortex


Explanation l.jpg

Explanation

* Thalamus Route

• Prepares us for danger immediately

• Could mean the difference between life

and death

* Cortex

• Adjusts the information to make sense of any

reactions


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Central Nucleus of the Amygdala

* Triggers physical aspects of anxiety

• Physiological responses

Faster heart rate

Faster breathing

Dilated pupils

Release of adrenaline


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Possible Solutions to Test Anxiety


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Mindset for Success

This is the positive perception the student may hold as he enters the test situation.

* Practice a positive attitude toward the

test

* Do not verbalize or internalize

negative self-statements


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Coping Strategies for the Student


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Teacher Assistance

* Discover the qualities

that makes the

student unique

* Study the student’s

stress triggers and

try to help him

adjust to the stressors


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Alter Assessment Procedure

* Incorporate a variety

of assessment methods

(Group Projects)

* Enable the students to

write a “cheat sheet’

for the test to help organize their thoughts


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Classroom Environment Checked by Teacher

* Check:

• Room temperature

• Lighting

• Distractions

• Pencils

• Any questions from

students


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Getting into the “Testing Zone”

* Relaxation Exercises

* Aromatherapy

* Listen to music

* Sit in a calming area


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Quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Let me assert my firm belief

that the only thing we have to fear

is FEAR itself.


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If the test looks so frightening,


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Tame your fears, and triumph over the BEAST!


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Congratulations! You have won the race!


References l.jpg

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