Treatment of Test Anxiety in 11th & 12th Graders enrolled in Dual Credit Biology Class Lanese Witt-Schulte Pierce City High School 300 Myrtle Pierce City, MO 65723 email@example.com 417.476.2515
Problem Identification and Statement • Some Dual Credit College Biology students are struggling with test anxiety before and during the class tests at Pierce City High School. • Data was collected prior to the test anxiety group and following the completion of the test anxiety group approximately 6 weeks after the beginning. • Reducing the level of test anxiety experienced in students could help these students perform better on other class tests as well as college entrance exams. • Pre-test Average 3.125, post-test average 2.7 • Other Considerations • How does test anxiety affect these students in other classes? • What are the current study habits of students? • How does test anxiety affect the scores of students on college entrance exams?
SIMS • Students • 2 senior females • 2 junior males • 4 junior females • All exhibiting moderate to high levels of test anxiety • Interventions • Group presentations and discussions • 2 times a week for 30 minutes for 6 weeks • During study hall from 2:40 – 3:10 Tuesdays and Thursdays • Measurements • Richard Driscoll’s Test Anxiety Index as pre and post test • Dual Credit Biology course exam 2 and 3 • Setting • Counselor’s classroom
Interventions • Prior to group: Administer Westside Test Anxiety Scale to students • Session 1: Introductions and setting of group norms • Session 2: Partner share with “Questions about your Test Anxiety” worksheet then large group share to find commonalities • Session 3: Introduce Cognitive Behavioral Model of Anxiety, discuss relationship between thoughts, feelings, physical reactions, and behaviors during testing • Session 4: Post negative thoughts and behaviors around the classroom and partnered students go around and write down a positive comment or behavior to replace the negative.
Interventions • Session 5: Discuss Yerkes-Dodson Performance-arousal Curve and how some test anxiety can be good, return to negative thinking errors and correction practice. • Session 6: Complete Covey and Merrill Matrix activity as a group organizing daily tasks into areas of priority. • Session 7: Students complete a time-management chart for the week before a test, signifying time spent studying and preparing • Session 8: Students identify study skills they have used or use that work, don’t work for them, and share new ideas they may have.
Interventions • Session 9: Discuss the 6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy identifying teachers expectations of students on test questions • Session 10: Discuss the Depth of Knowledge Chart and question levels, identify the DOK and Bloom’s level of questions on study guide or previous test questions. • Session 11: Practice different relaxation exercises and evaluate student reactions of exercises • Session 12: Discuss regular test day routine, create a Test Anxiety Management plan for test day • Prior to next test: Administer Post-test of Westside Test Anxiety Scale
Data Analysis and Summary • Prior to the TA group one student exhibited extremely high anxiety, ranking a majority of the statements either a 4 or 5 this student lowered their level of anxiety to High normal test anxiety. • Two students were at the High test anxiety level, one of student experienced an increase in test anxiety, and the other student lowered theirs to the moderately high level. • Two students in the group began at a moderately high level and lowered their scores by 0.5 and 0.3 respectively. • One student began at the high normal test anxiety level and lowered to the normal test anxiety level. • Two students started at a normal or average test anxiety level and remained there after the TA group, lowering their original scores by 0.3 and 0.2 points.
Data Analysis and Summary • The student whose test anxiety score raised is experiencing a very heavy course load this semester and I am concerned her anxiety comes with the pressure to excel in those classes and remain first in her class by both herself and her parents. • The students who began the group with a normal or high normal level of test anxiety joined the group for the experience. • Students enjoyed the time-task management graph of the Merrill-Covey Matrix because it was interactive. • Activities in which the students had to get up and move around the room or contribute their own experiences seemed more engaging rather than the facilitator leading a discussion about cognitive behavior or the Yerkes-Dodson law
Data Analysis and Summary • The group was more responsive during open discussion about what they were experiencing during school that day. • The time of the group, the end of the day, contributed to a lot of the open discussion and feedback provided by the students since they had just wrapped up their school day.
Recommendations • The 30 minute sessions seemed rushed for a few of the activities. May be more beneficial to hold 6 one hour sessions. • Counselors should offer Test Anxiety Reduction strategies during guidance curriculum lessons, especially to high school students taking college entrance exams. • The counselor should discuss with teachers students whose test scores are lower than expected and test the student for high test anxiety. • The counselor can share strategies for test anxiety reduction with teachers.
Recommendations • The counselor would include more time for open discussion in sessions rather than activities taking place. • The counselor would keep the Merrill-Covey Matrix activity, the Cognitive Behavior Negative thinking activities, and the weekly time management activity. • The counselor would not focus on just one class of students but the entire school population to reach more students in need of strategies to reduce test anxiety.
Test Anxiety Curriculum and Resources • Below is a word document containing the curriculum and resources used to facilitate the Test Anxiety Small Group
Bibliography • DOK: • Webb, Norman L. and others. “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005. Wisconsin Center of Education Research. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2 Feb. 2006. <http://www.wcer.wisc.edu?WAT/index.aspx>. • Bloom’s Taxonomy Polygon: • 2004. Center for Teaching Excellence. St. Edward’s University.<http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/col/id/doc/BloomPolygon.pdf>. • Tackling Test Anxiety Curriculum: • Damer, D. E. and Melendres, L. T. (2011). “Tackling test anxiety”: A group for college students. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 36(3), 163-177.
Bibliography • Merrill Covey Matrix: • “Merrill Covey Matrix.” 2011. The Innovation Games Company. Innovation games. <http://innovationgames.com/merrill-covey-matrix/>. • Yerkes-Dodson Law: • Nonlinearity BiolToxicol Med. 2005 January; 3(1): 1-7. doi: 10.2201/nonlin.003.01.001. • Westside Test Anxiety Scale: • Driscoll, R. (2007). Westside test anxiety scale validation. Education Resources Information Center. 1-6. <http://www.testanxietycontrol.com/research/sv.pdf>. • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Model: • Shire GPs. “Rationale for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.” May 2005. <www.mhima.org.au/_literature_73677/RCBT>.