Overcoming Test Anxiety

One of the biggest challenges during college for many students are exams.

Most college students can say when taking exams, the test anxiety begins to kick in. Most of this test anxiety comes from a place of wanting to succeed. For students who get test anxiety they believe grades are an estimate of their worth.

“Students feel triggered when they are put in a position where they are being evaluated based off how well they can complete a test,” said Caitlin Szalkowski a psychology teacher here at Hilbert college.

Another main reason students get test anxiety is due to the emphasis that is put on test and the importance of getting a good grade. Malaka,  a junior in college said she tries to use strategies to help her stay calm.

“When I’m taking an exam, I start to get anxiety and when I start to read the questions everything goes blank,” she said.

She also went on to say this  happens because she’s so worried about getting a bad grade that it starts to affect her testing. 

“I don’t do exams in my class due to the stress they cause, and they don’t prove how well a student knows the material,” Szalkowski said. “I just give out short quizzes to make sure they understand what we’ve discussed”

As thrilled as any student would be to have no exams most teachers do like them and use them. So here a few tips to overcoming test anxiety.

    1.  Making the most of class time

Showing up to all classes and taking notes of the material will be a big help in the end. You can learn a lot just by going to class and taking notes and engaging with the material. Then when it’s time to study you can look over your notes again.

    2.  Retrieval Practice

Retrieval practice is a strategy in which bringing information to mind enhances and boost your learning. This one of the most beneficial ways to study according to psychologist. “you are forcing yourself to pull out information from your memory to your consciousness and in doing this it enhances the strength of that memory” said Szalkswski. One of the best ways to practice retrieval practice is through flash cards.

    When taking an exam don’t spend too much time on a question that you don’t know the answer to. Go through the test and answer the questions you do know. And after that go back to the questions you weren’t sure about. This will also help you with time and making sure you don’t run out of time due to spending too much time on questions.

      When taking an exam, it’s important to just focus on going at the pace that feels most comfortable to you. Focusing on others finishing before you will only make you more nervous and start to rush.

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