Common causes of test anxiety and how to solve them

In “Text Anxiety: Causes and Remedies,” Dr. Maryellen Weimer addresses the issue of test anxiety and how it affects students from kindergarten to graduate school. She presents a study that confirms the general idea that those with test anxiety have lower cumulative GPAs at the college level, but reminds us that although this is the case, tests are not going to disappear from the college landscape. Thus, she focuses on the causes of test anxiety, summarized below:

  1. Students who don’t have good study skills resort to memorization, but in turn cannot apply that to the “big picture.”
  2. Students who engage in negative self-talk can answer the questions after the test; however, the testing experience provokes such a high level of anxiety that it clouds their judgment.
  3. Students who think they know how to study—but actually do not—spend a great deal of time going through the motions such as highlighting and recopying notes, but they end up retaining practically nothing.

Weimer suggests that teachers combat test anxiety by providing examples of how to study and discussion about test-taking amongst peers. She also presents findings of teacher behavior that increases test anxiety for their students—namely walking around, peering over shoulders, or talking during the exam.

Read the original Faculty Focus article here or below, and let us know what you think is the main cause (and best remedy!) of test anxiety.

Weimer, Maryellen. “Test Anxiety: Causes and Remedies.” Teaching Professor Blog. Faculty Focus, 27 April 2016. Web. 3 May 2016.

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