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
Presentation by: Karen Sovesky
* What is it?
that reflects distress
or apprehension of
* Can be caused by:
• Having too much
one cannot process
• Not having enough
information that makes
one feel helpless
Students preconceived idea of the test
Anxiety experienced during the test
* 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.
* 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.”
* Illness of a family
* Financial difficulties
* Abusive Relationship
* Poor physical living environment
* Death of family member
* 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
* Lack of sleep
* Eating improperly
* Physical ailments
* Too hot or cold in the
* Lunchtime is approaching
* Time factor
* Lack of proper writing implements
* 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
* External stimulus
reaches the amygdala in
two different ways.
• By a short, fast,
imprecise route from
• By a long, slow,
precise route from the
* Thalamus Route
• Prepares us for danger immediately
• Could mean the difference between life
• Adjusts the information to make sense of any
* Triggers physical aspects of anxiety
• Physiological responses
Faster heart rate
Release of adrenaline
This is the positive perception the student may hold as he enters the test situation.
* Practice a positive attitude toward the
* Do not verbalize or internalize
* Discover the qualities
that makes the
* Study the student’s
stress triggers and
try to help him
adjust to the stressors
* Incorporate a variety
of assessment methods
* Enable the students to
write a “cheat sheet’
for the test to help organize their thoughts
• Room temperature
• Any questions from
* Relaxation Exercises
* Listen to music
* Sit in a calming area
“Let me assert my firm belief
that the only thing we have to fear
is FEAR itself.
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