Tag Archives: test anxiety

When Frank Herbert wrote “Fear is the mind-killer” in the sci-fi epic Dune, he might have been thinking of academic performance. Research suggests that stress is so powerful that it can actually shrink the brain. Of course, outstanding test preparation instills massive confidence on test day, but if anxiety strikes, the solution may be a simple power pose. Researchers Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap wondered if a person could fake it ’til she makes it, whether nonverbal displays govern how we think and feel about ourselves? They predicted that posing in high-power nonverbal displays would cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes that would trigger elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk. Their findings in Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect NeuroendocrineLevels and Risk Tolerance confirmed their hypothesis: By simply changing physical posture, an individual prepares his or her…

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We’ve long promoted the necessity of sleep for teens and analyzed the causes and remedies for test anxiety. Yet, the recent research uncovering a connection between the two still came as a surprise. Researchers from the University of Kansas wanted a better understanding of the relationship between sleep, anxiety, and test performance, particularly how their mutual interactions unfold over time: “(Nancy) Hamilton and graduate student co-authors Ronald Freche and Ian Carroll and undergraduates Yichi Zhang and Gabriella Zeller surveyed the sleep quality, anxiety levels and test scores for 167 students enrolled in a statistics class at KU. Participants completed an electronic battery of measures and filled out Sleep Mood Study Diaries during the mornings in the days before a statistics exam. Instructors confirmed exam scores. “The study showed ‘sleep and anxiety feed one another’ and can hurt academic performance predictably.” Was reported test anxiety a valid predictor of academic underperformance?…

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Everybody knows how nerve-wracking high stakes tests can be. Less widely known are all the effective ways to combat and ultimately overcome test anxiety. Spend an hour to learn insights that can relieve a lifetime of stress. What causes test anxiety? Why is a certain amount of anxiety helpful in critical situations? What strategies help manage response to stress in the moment? What strategies help manage response to stress in advance?    Our Overcoming Test Anxiety seminar explains test anxiety comes from, why it’s not always a bad thing, and what you can do about it. Learn the fundamentals of stress and success from a veteran educator with a background in counseling and performance management.   The fee for this one-hour online group seminar is $30 . This training can also be arranged for individuals at our tutoring rate.   Advance registration is required. Register through our Student Information Form and specify either the Overcoming…

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The Guardian released an excerpt of the upcoming book, The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made by A Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore, as a strong standalone article titled Under pressure: why athletes choke. As the kind of coach who helps teens excel on a different field of play than the one the authors focused on, I wondered how many of their insights carried from athletic competition to academic competition. I needn’t have worried, as sports analogies almost universally apply to testing. I recommend the full article, especially if you are not put off by descriptions of cricket matches. However, for fast reference, I’ve highlighted some key passages with corresponding support on the test prep side: “Failure to manage anxiety and cope with the demands at a crucial moment can lead to a catastrophic drop in performance, known as choking. As the pressure in a match rises, so can an…

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I’ve been happily immersed in ACT Certified Educator training over the last week. This is a great program with terrific trainers. Jason Derby, for example, is a true educational triple-threat, teaching high school classes, ACE courses, and private test prep. No wonder so many of his insights resonated with my own experience of testing. For example, who could argue with this analogy? The ACT is like a rock wall: there are usually multiple ways to climb to the top. Jason hits the nail on the head here. Great climbing walls are designed to challenge a wide range of complementary skills and strategies along a spectrum of successful outcomes. Great tests do the same. Neither trial is necessarily designed to allow every competitor to attain the summit but still permits numerous paths to the highest levels of success. The comparison doesn’t end there. Solving a tough test question is a lot…

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Everybody knows how nerve-wracking high stakes tests can be. Less widely known are all the effective ways to combat and ultimately overcome test anxiety. Spend an hour to learn insights that can relieve a lifetime of stress. What causes test anxiety? Why is a certain amount of anxiety helpful in critical situations? What strategies help manage response to stress in the moment? What strategies help manage response to stress in advance?    Our Overcoming Test Anxiety seminar explains test anxiety comes from, why it’s not always a bad thing, and what you can do about it. Learn the fundamentals of stress and success from a veteran educator with a background in counseling and performance management.   This seminar is part of our June Seminar Series. The fee is $25 for this program or $99 for as many of the June seminars as you like.   Advance registration is required. Register through our Student Information Form…

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