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Test Anxiety: Identifying and Reducing

How can I help students reduce anxiety, feel more confident, and improve their test performance?
by

natalie dobie

on 6 May 2010

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Transcript of Test Anxiety: Identifying and Reducing

Test Anxiety: Identifying & Reducing Wondering NCLB's Effects What is Test Anxiety? Research Methods Intervention Strategies Findings Tips for Teachers! How can I help students reduce anxiety, feel more confident, and improve their test performance? Purpose: Find Intervetions to Reduce Anxeity Why? “Test anxiety is one of many specific forms of anxiety; it results in a combination of cognitive and physical responses that are aroused in testing situations or in similar situations in which a person believes that he or she is being personally evaluated” (Cizek & Burg, 2006, p. 1). “Students experiencing test anxiety do not approach a task such as a test with a positive outlook or expectation of success, but with dread regarding the potential for negative evaluation or failure” (Cizek & Burg, 2006, p. 17). Two Types of Anxiety Trait Anxiety View testing and other diverse situations as threatening
High Strung State Anxiety Only evident in specific situations
More laid back Two Main Components Emotionality Worry Includes physical reactions
Nervousness
Fidgeting
Pacing
Looking at the Clock
Sweating
Pencil tapping Includes Cognitive Reactions
Preoccupied with consequences of poor performance or failure on a test Do tests truly measure a students abilities? “In effect, NCLB has placed so much weight on the results of testing that teachers have had little choice but to reduce instruction in other subjects in order to teach to the tests, sometimes to the detriment of their own mental health, sometimes even to the detriment of the mental health of students” (Marsh & Willis, 2007, p. 63). Sally Observations Interviews Three Facets Cognitive
Affective
Behavioral Prevalence of High-Stakes Testing Heightened Test Anxiety Increased need for Interventions Teaching to the Test 8th grade special education student
ADHD & Test Anxiety
Anxious across a variety of settings
Straight A student
Low test performance
Full of Energy or High Strung
Low self-efficacy
Negative self talk
Exhibits many affective facets
Constant worrying about performance
Over reacts
Frustrated easily
Very supportive family
Multiple settings
Taking tests
Regular class
State assessments
Proximity Intial & Final
Questions covered the causes of test anxiety, facets of test anxiety, effects of test anxiety, and the intervetion strategies
Checklist
Understand Sally's thoughts, views, & opinions about tests
Implemented over a week long period in between the Math assessment and Reading assessment
Student Centered
Test reading strategies, question and answering strategies, self talk strategies, managing time and pacing strategies, and relaxation strategies Card Content on Handout! “I don’t like them, I don’t like them at all” (personal communication, March 5, 2010). “Better than I did when I took the math one because I felt like I did a lot better like good from my point of view” (personal communication, March 29, 2010). After hearing her response I asked her if she felt like her better performance on the assessment had anything to do with the strategies I had taught her and she said, “Yeah I think it did” (personal communication, March 29, 2010). Sally After Interventions Better time management
Improved posture
Less fidgeting
More confident
Less worry
Rated anxiety a 9 on math assessment
Rated anxiety a 2 on reading assessment 1. Test taking strategies and relaxation strategies can boost academic performance, build test taking confidence, and reduce student's test anxiety. 2. Testing environment matters! 3. Talk about importance passing assessments can increase students test anxiety. Including a high degree of explicit structure of lessons.
De-emphasizing competition and grade orientation.
Creating and maintaining a safe and comfortable assessment environment.
Using diverse assessment techniques.
Providing ample opportunities and help for students preparing for tests.
Ensuring that appropriate test-administration accommodations are made for students who need them.
Questions?
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