Thursday, March 31, 2011



According wikipedia test anxiety;
"involves a combination of physiological over-arousal, worry and dread about test performance."


Test anxiety has been shown to have a consistently negative relationship with test performance, and test anxious students are found to perform about 12 percentile points below their non-anxious peers.

Test Anxiety is seen to consist of:

  • Physiological over-arousal — often termed "emotionality." Somatic signs include headaches, stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, light-headedness or fainting, rapid heart beat, and dry mouth.
  • Worry & Dread — maladaptive cognitions. Include here catastrophic expectations of gloom and doom, fear of failure, random thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, self-condemnation, negative self-talk, frustration, comparing oneself unfavorably to others.
  • Impairment - poor concentration, 'going blank' or 'freezing,' confusion, poor organization. The inability to concentrate leads to impaired performance on tests.

Most students experience some level of anxiety during a test. However, when anxiety affects exam performance it has become a problem. So here are some tips for those who are preparing for Final Exam.

1) General preparation/building confidence:

Academic counselors can help you in these areas, or refer to the links given:
  • Developing good study habits and strategies 
  • Managing time;(dealing with procrastination, distractions, laziness)
  • Organizing material to be studied and learned. Take a step by step approach to build a strategy and not get overwhelmed
  • Outside pressures; success/failure consequences (grades, graduation), peer pressure, competitiveness, etc.
  • Reviewing your past performance on teststo improve and learn from experience

2) Test preparation to reduce anxiety:

  • Approach the exam with confidence; use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: vizualization, logic, talking to your self, practice, team work, journaling, etc.
  • View the exam as an opportunity to show how much you've studied and to receive a reward for the studying you've done
  • Be prepared!
  • Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist
  • Choose a comfortable location for taking the test with good lighting and minimal distractions
  • Allow yourself plenty of time, especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early.
  • Strive for a relaxed state of concentration
  • Avoid speaking with any fellow students who have not prepared, who express negativity, who will distract your preparation.
  • A program of exercise is said to sharpen the mind
  • Get a good night's sleep on the night before the exam
  • Don't go to the exam with an empty stomach
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are often recommended to reduce stress.
    Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices
  • Take a small snack, or some other nourishment to help take your mind off of your anxiety.
  • Avoid high sugar content (candy) which may aggravate your condition

3) During the test.
  • Make du'as to Him
  • Read the directions carefully
  • Budget your test taking time
  • Change positions to help you relax
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on
  • If you're taking an essay test and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind
  • Don't panic when students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for being the first done

4) If you find yourself tensing and getting anxious during the test
  • Relax; you are in control. 
  • Take slow, deep breaths
  • Don't think about the fear
  • Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step
  • Use positive reinforcement for yourself: 
  • Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best
  • Expect some anxiety. It's a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide energy
  • Just keep it manageable
  • Realize that anxiety can be a "habit" and that it takes practice to use it as a tool to succeed
  • Do shalawat (blessing) to the prophet SAW.

5) After the test, review how you did
  • List what worked, and hold onto these strategies
  • It does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success
  • List what did not work for improvement
  • Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle
  • Say Alhamdulillah.

SEM 2, 2010/2011

Thanks to:

:: original article

1 comment:

Safi ArRahman said...

All the best to IIUM students!!!

Remember to strive for the very best to the ultimate success. may Allah bless.

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