Test Anxiety Wiki




I chose test anxiety as the topic for this Wiki project, because it is something that I have experienced a few times in my life and I have always wondered what exactly causes it. Is it a feeling of not being properly prepared for the test or is it just being nervous about not knowing what is going to be asked? There are some students that freeze up even if just the word test is mentioned.

Top Five Things I Learned:

1) Different ways that test anxiety physically affects the body.

2) The chemical processes that are taking place in the brain when someone is experiencing test anxiety.

3) Strategies and approaches that parents can use to help their children overcome test anxiety.

4) The extreme lengths that some schools have gone to in order to ensure that students pass state
assessments.

5) Tips on how students can overcome test anxiety and strategies for studying.

1. If you were to only check out one of the resources on this Wiki, I would have to say that this would be the one that you should look at, because this slideshow covers a lot of information about test anxiety in general and strategies to help deal with test anxiety are offered for students as well as parents. This slideshow also goes over high-stakes testing and the stress this can cause for students. I gave this slideshow 5 out of 5 gold stars, because it did a great job of providing statistics and articles about students that were affected by test anxiety. The person that created this slideshow appears to have done a lot of research on this topic and cites a variety of sources that could be used to further research on this topic.



2. This video is a Powerpoint presentation that describes many different apsects of test anxiety such as what test anxiety is and how it affects the body. I found the most interesting part of this video to be the part where it talks about activity that is taking place in a person's brain when they are experiencing feelings of anxiety before and during a test. I gave this video 4 out of 5 gold stars, because I found that it gave a great explanation of what test anxiety is as well as offered some test-taking strategies/tips at the end.




3. In doing this research, I'm starting to realize that there are more people affected by testing then just students. The audio below is from National Publuc Radio (NPR) and it is a report about a school in Texas that was using some unethical practices to make sure that their students were going to pass state assessments. I was completely shocked by this report and I had never heard of schools going to these lengths to ensure student success. It makes you wonder if we will start to see more schools and teachers being pushed to the limit and responding to the anxieties of standardized testing with unethical teaching strategies. I gave this resource 4 out of 5 gold stars, becuase it opened my eyes to some of the negative consequences that have resulted from teacher's anxieties about whether or not their students will pass tests.




4. If you have ever crammed for a math test or for an exam of any kind, then this video will make sense. I chose this video because it provides a good metaphor for what it feels like when you have memorized a bunch of material for a test and how it all seems to "spill out" as soon as the test is handed out. I gave this video 3 out of 5 gold stars, because even though it doesn't provide any information about test anxiety it does show an example of how using study techniques such as cramming don't usually prove to be successful.




5. This audio clip is a report from NPR that discusses nightmares caused from anxieties related to school. I chose to include this resource because there is a some mention about students who had nightmares about not receiving passing "marks" in their classes and being told that they wouldn't graduate due to this. The interesting thing about this resource is that it talks about one of the earliest known cases of test anxiety in ancient China. I gave this audio clip 2 out of 5 gold stars, because there is very little discussion about testing anxiety and the report is more about what causes nightmares about school.




6. Is there anything parents can do to help reduce their child's anxieties about testing? The address below is a link to a guide for parents that explains many different aspects of school testing and outlines things that parents can do to help their child or children prepare for tests. I gave this guide 4 out of 5 gold stars, because I felt that this is a great resource for parents that either don't agree with testing or that want to help prepare their child for when he or she starts taking tests. Before reading this guide,I hadn't thought of the effect that parents may have on their child's anxieties about testing or what things parents can do to help reduce test anxiety for their child.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/schools/etc/guide.html


7. The link below goes to a video abot standardized testing in the United States and talks about how instruction has changed at an Ohio school to ensure that students meet state requirements. This school literally "teaches to the test" in that students practice standardized test-taking skills and work on problems that are identical to ones that will be asked on their state tests. I gave this video 3 out of 5 gold stars, because I liked having another resource that describes how teachers are responding to the anxieties that come from being held accountable for students' test scores. When looking at test anxiety and the effects of standardized testing, it's important to look at these topics through the lens of each person that has been affected to determine if this is something that is helping or hurting education.


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wherewestand/reports/testing-no-child-left-behind/segment-four-from-full-episode/27/


8. Do you want to know what the secret ingredient for test success? It turns out that peppermint not only gives you fresh breath, but it also helps you concentrate during tests. At least that's what a middle school in Maryland is telling and encouraging its students to do. I gave this resource 3 out of 5 gold stars, because I think it's an interesting approach to get students to not worry so much about testing. I think it's neat that the school is promoting this and I am not sure if there is any real effects on concetration connected with chewing peppermint, but I'm sure that this is a great way to calm students down and give them a little more confidence before starting a test.




9. The video below talks about how standardized testing is actually taking away from the education that our students are receiving and encourages putting the responsibility of desining and implementing assessment back in the hands of teachers. Although this video relates to standardized testing in Britsh Comlumbia, there was some good ideas about the role of assessment in the classroom and why standardized testing is discouraging creativity in students. I gave this video 2 out of 5 gold stars.




10. Should students be required to pass certain tests as requirement to graduate? Can we meaure what students have learned throughout their education through a series of a few tests? This video talks about a school in Maryland that required students to pass a series of tests in order to graduate high school. Students were even told that they could fail one test as long as they received an accumulative score that was at or above the required score. This is just another instance where a school is putting more pressure on its students by having them demonstrate years of acquired knowledge on a series of exams that they must pass instead of giving those students alternative opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned through their interests and areas that they are strong in. I gave this video 3 out of 5 gold stars, because it brought up another interesting example of a school that is putting too much emphasis on teaching for tests and not enough emphasis on actual learning.