Tips To Improve Performance Around Testing Time
By Dr. Kenya Grooms clinical psychologist and Dean of Student Affairs at MacCormac College
Test anxiety is a real problem today — students who are stressed and fearful will have a hard time doing their best. As a teacher, you already know this. Whether your students are in elementary school or starting to think about college, how they feel about testing time makes a huge impact on their performance.
Because of this, it’s important to prepare students for what’s coming, equipping them with strategies for test days. Preparation diffuses anxieties and gives students tools for knowing how to handle pressure. This way, they are freed to focus. In fact, as an educator, how you guide your pupils can completely change the way they react to stress, prepare their minds for testing, and help them score higher.
Study Skills Matter
Good testing starts with good studying. In order to know how to answer questions or formulate responses, a student needs to gain knowledge through time thinking about and using studying. With that in mind, some good study tips to emphasize include:
- Spacing study sessions leading to the test, instead of cramming the night before
- Removing distractions from the study environment
- Finding concrete examples of abstract ideas
- Practicing elaborating on ideas with great description
- Utilizing visual aids whenever possible
- Using memory games or challenges to encourage information retention
- Trying positive visualization strategies
- Taking regular breaks
- Finding study partners to work together
As every educator knows, however, studying is only half the battle when it comes to test scores. Even the well-prepared student can do better when he or she takes certain steps to help the body and mind.
To give you more tips to help your students prepare for and overcome testing paralysis, the accompanying slideshow is a helpful guide. In it, you’ll find a few of the best ways students can prepare for less stress, more confidence and better testing performance — from prioritizing sleep to eating well.
Tips To Improve Performance Around Testing Time from MacCormac College
Author bio: Dr. Kenya Grooms is a clinical psychologist and Dean of Student Affairs at MacCormac College, the oldest two-year, private, nonprofit institution in Illinois. MacCormac offers educational programs for court reporting, criminal justice, business administration and more. Dr. Grooms has written and presented about family life, international partnerships, personal resilience, support services for non-traditional students and many other topics in psychology.