Reducing Student Test Anxiety

Reducing Student Test Anxiety


Many college students have test anxiety that impairs their academic performance. But recent research has uncovered a way to reduce the negative effects of test anxiety. And, the intervention is surprisingly easy to implement in college courses. Test anxious students who write about their test-related worries for a few minutes just before an examination perform closer to their actual potential—essentially eliminating the negative effects of anxiety (Beilock, 2010; Ramirez & Beilock, 2011). The brief video explains how and why the writing strategy works.

If you are interested in using the Expressive Writing Strategy to improve test performance of high test anxious students in your classes, see the attached file labelled Guidelines for Expressive Writing Strategy to Reduce Test Anxiety.

Resources & References
  1. Beilock, S. (2010). Choke: What the secrets of the brain reveal about getting it right when you have to. Free Press: NY.
  2. Listen to an interview with Sian Beilock on how writing about testing-worries boosts exam performance in the classroom http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6014/211/suppl/DC2
  3. Cassady, J. C. & Johnson, R. E. (2002). Cognitive test anxiety and academic performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 27, 270–295. doi:10.1006/ceps.2001.1094.
  4. Cassady, J. C. (2004). The influence of cognitive test anxiety across the learning-testing cycle. Learning and Instruction, 14, 6, 569-592.
  5. Ramirez, G. & Beilock, S. (2011). Writing about testing worries boosts exam performance in the classroom. Science. Vol. 331, January 14, 2011, pp. 211-213.

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