Taking a test is considered one of the students’ most common triggers for stress and anxiety. Experiencing stress is part of life. However, when stress from an upcoming test starts to affect the students’ quality of life and academic performance, this may lead to recurring anxiety.
To positively deal with test-related stress and anxiety and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, teachers can help their anxious students prepare for the test with these helpful tips:
How to effectively study for the test
- Encourage students to set study goals and take one step at a time.
- Advise students to buffer some time to accomplish their other tasks before the test.
- Students may be able to build up their confidence by reviewing the material frequently, in small blocks of time each day, and for several days before the test to familiarize themselves with the material.
- Lessening internet use for non-academic activities and avoiding procrastination may help students to focus and finish their scheduled tasks on time.
Before taking the test
- Tell students to arrive early at the testing center so they can feel relaxed and comfortable. It’s best not to stay close to people who are anxious as this might trigger them to doubt their knowledge.
- When students receive the test materials, advise them to examine the materials carefully, read the directions twice, and devise a plan on how to use their time in answering the questions.
- Now is the time to also ask the proctor if there are unclear instructions.
- Advise students that it’s better not to rush through the test but work at their own pace. Tell them to focus on their own work and not worry about how far along their classmates are on the test.
- Studies show that deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises could help with stress and anxiety. Students may try these before taking the test
During the test
- If being aware of the time limit makes students become anxious, one good old strategy is to answer the easier questions first and return to the other questions later.
- Thinking about post-exam rewards for a minute can help as a way to motivate in finishing the test.
- Positive self-talk could aid a stressed and anxious student during a test. They can come up with positive statements which help to keep them calm, such as “This is only one test,” “I am familiar with this material,” “This test does not reflect on my intelligence,” etc.
Quipper offers more Stress Management Strategies for Test-taking!
Quipper’s Basic Education Exit Assessment (BEEA) assessment package will provide teachers with a practice test to help their students be mentally prepared for the coming National Achievement Test for Grade 12 (NATG12). It also provides a module that teachers can share with their students for their psychological/emotional exit assessment preparation.
The Stress Management Strategies for Test-Taking Module discusses common sources of stress associated with studying and test-taking. This module will help students to:
- Understand stress
- Cope with unavoidable stress
- Make stress work to their advantage.
This module is available as part of BEEA’s Teacher Kit Handbook/Manual in the Q-link platform. Teachers can access it by following these steps:
- Log in to your Q-link account
- Go to the Curriculum and Assignments Tab
- Look for the ‘Category’ drop-down menu, then select ‘Assessment Package: Teacher Kit.’
- Inside the kit, click the ‘Test-taking Strategies’ unit, and scroll down to find the Stress Management Strategies for Test-Taking module.
Teachers can now assign the module to their class or use it in class discussions to prepare their students for the coming NATG12.
Test-related stress is inevitable since this is part of one’s student life. But Quipper is here to lighten your students’ burden. So worry no more because Quipper got your back by holistically preparing your students for the coming exit assessments.