Anne Whitney, a sophomore at Colorado State University, first had a problem taking tests when she began college."I was always well prepared for my tests. Sometimes I studied for weeks before a test. Yet I would go in to take the test, only to find I could not answer the questions correctly. I would blank out because of nervousness and fear. I couldn't think of the answer. My low grades on the tests did not show what I knew to the teacher."Another student in microbiology and similar experiences. He said,"My first chemistry test was very difficult. Then, on the second test, I sat down to take it, and I was so nervous that I was shaking. My hands were moving up and down so quickly that it was hard to hold my pencil. I knew the materical and I knew the answers. Yet I couldn't even writen them down!"
These two young students were experiencing something called test anxiety. Because a student worries and it uneasy about a test, his or her mind does not work as well as it usually does. The student can't write or think clearly because of the extreme tension and nervousness. Although poor grades are often a result of poor study habits, sometimes test anxiety causes the low grades. Recently, test anxiety had been recognized as a real problem, not just an excuse or a false explanation of lazy students.
Special university counseling courses try to help students. In these courses, counselors try to help students by teaching them how to manage test anxiety. At some universities, students take tests to measure their anxiety. If the tests show their anxiety is high, the students can take short courses to help them deal with their tension. These courses teach students how to relax their bodies. Students are trained to become calm in bery tense situations. By controlling their nervousness, they can let their minds work at ease. Learned information then comes out without difficulty on a test.
An expert at the University of California explains."With almost all students, relaxation and less stress are felt after taking out program. Most of then experience better control during their tests. Almost all have some improvement. With some, the improvement is very great."
1. To "blank out" is probably ________.
a. to be like a blanket
b. to be sure of an answer
c. to be unable to think clearly
d. to show knowledge to the teacher
2. Poor grades are usually the result of ________.
a. poor hygienic habits
c. lack of sleep
d. inability to form good study habits
3. Test anxiety has been recognized as ________.
a. an excuse for laziness
b. the result of poor habits
c. a real problem
d. something that can't be changed
4. To deal with this problem, students say they want to ________.
a. take a short course on anxiety
b. read about anxiety
c. be able to manage or understand their anxiety
d. take test to prove they are not anxiety
5. A University of California counselor said ________.
a. all students could overcome the anxiety after taking a special test anxiety program
b. almost all students felt less stress after taking a University of California counseling course
c. students found it difficult to improve even though they had taken a special test anxiety course
d. students found it easy to relax as soon as they extered a University of California counseling course