Dealing with test anxiety and performing your best on Test Day

<p>Hey, guys. Many of my October students did well on their exams, although a small percentage performed much worse (i.e., dropped 100 points or more) on the actual exam versus the diagnostics they had been taking. It can be frustrating, because I don't really know exactly why this happens sometimes. I'm here to try to figure out some good solutions to this insidious enemy. My students deserve to score their best, and it breaks my heart sometimes when they don't. I hate it.</p>

<p>So I have several questions for all of you. Did you ever score significantly lower -- 100 points or more below -- than your diagnostic (by diagnostic, I mean OFFICIAL College Board practice exam taken under realistic conditions, preferably proctored by someone else) scores leading right up to exam day? If so, why do you think this happened? Was it a case of nerves? Timing issues (e.g., did you forget to bring a timer, ran out of time, proctor timed the exam badly, etc.)? Were you discouraged by one bad section? Other causes? Or do you not really know what happened? Also, did you know right after the exam that you had performed below your expectations (e.g., did you feel you bombed the exam, etc.)?</p>

<p>I also have questions for the ones who scored significantly ABOVE their diagnostic scores -- 50 points or more higher. What do you think you did in the period leading to the exam and during the exam that helped you get such a good score? What was your mental mindset? Any rituals or techniques you performed before or during the exam? Did you actually think you would perform that well at the completion of the exam? Did you feel really good afterwards? What things set you apart from other test-takers who did not perform their best?</p>

<p>Question for all: What do you think are effective techniques to reduce test anxiety and to boost your confidence on Test Day?</p>

<p>Remember that any little details that you can post would help. I'm looking for subtle things that a good test-taker may be doing that a not-as-good one may not be.</p>

<p>Thanks for your help!</p>

<p>When students take practice tests, even though they are "real" tests, not everyone treats the test as such; even if one pretends it is the real thing and it "counts," it still is just that, pretending. So while on a practice test, if a student hits a particularly tough question, he will skip it or answer it to his best ability without dwelling on it - a heavily emphasized testing technique (and a good one!). But on the real test, if he finds himself in a similar position, he will become nervous that he won't get the answer right, and thus spend more time on the problem until he is absolutely sure that his answer is correct, thereby depleting his remaining available time to complete the section.</p>

<p>On the same token, a practice test is not stressful. Practice tests are good indicators of the range of scores that a student can expect to obtain on the actual test, but not even the most carefully constructed testing environment can mirror the real thing; students are far more nervous when the test actually matters.</p>

<p>That being said, some students rise to the challenge on testing day - I was one of them. During practice tests, student interest often flags, resulting in lower-than-anticipated scores because of lack of concentration and focus. There is no motivation to do well on a practice test. When such a student takes the real test, however, he is fully concentrated, as he is well aware that the stakes are much, much higher.</p>

<p>In my experience, the best way to take a test is sans anxiety. But the only way that I have found this possible is by taking the test after already scoring well enough to be content, regardless of the second score. My own jump was quite extreme - 1420 to 1530 with zero prep over a six month span - and I credit it largely to my newfound confidence in taking the test for a second time in a "no-pressure" situation.</p>

<p>Those are some good insights. Any other thoughts??</p>

<p>The best way to deal with anxiety is to get pumped up
techno music is good
wake up early and go for a jog
i have done a 700 and an 800 in a span of 4 hrs just by changing my mindset and taking a jog
NVR listen to ppl before the test
ppl will make u nervous
this dumbass was teaching ppl how to write essays and how 2 get an 800 on IIC
he was blabbering something about how a ti89 gets u 150 pts higher
all the ppl with 83 and 84 were like crap
i was just calm with my casio
my score: 800
his score: 750</p>

<p>it pays to be calm</p>

<p>In my experience, you do the same whether you are anxious or not. Therefore, it is a waste of energy to get anxious.</p>