Anxiety is a great motivator, but becomes a problem when it inhibits performance, said an associate dean of student development.Angela Taylor, an associate dean for student development, was asked to speak at Academic Services’ anxiety workshop Tuesday, academic services staff members said.
Taylor asked students to imagine a time when they were anxious before a test, and compare it to a time when they were confident.
“There are no particular formulas that guarantee an A on a test because we’re all different,” Taylor said. “We should individually evaluate our personal experiences of what works and what doesn’t.”
This is the season for anxiety, Taylor said.
“The number one cause for test anxiety is not feeling prepared,” Taylor said. “Confidence is the antidote to anxiety, and preparation is the key to confidence.”
Preparation starts as soon as the semester begins, Taylor said.
Taylor suggested students shouldn’t talk to classmates right before the exam.
“If you talk about the material with others and realize there was something you didn’t study it only raises stress more,” Taylor said.
Taylor also told students how they can prepare during the semester, the day of the test and during the test.
Aracely Luna, a senior early childhood education major, said she was required to attend the workshop because she works for student support services, but said it was helpful.
“I liked the information packet that said what foods should and shouldn’t be eaten while studying,” she said.
Elia Padilla, a senior finance and accounting major, said she’s been to the workshop three times for an organization she belongs to.
“Even though I’ve been before, I liked hearing that we should reward our efforts, not results after a test,” Padilla said.
Some professors had other tips for students preparing for exams.
History professor Clayton Brown said students should start preparing for finals now.
Students should also get sleep instead of studying all night before a test, Brown said.
“I tell my students they shouldn’t be afraid to go to bed at a good hour, and then to get up and study in the morning,” Brown said.
Forming study groups to reflect on what has been learned can help students, said history instructor Sara Sohmer.
The best way to learn something is teaching it to someone else, Taylor said.
Academic Services offers about two workshops for students each month throughout each semester, said academic adviser April Brown.
There will be two more workshops this semester, Brown said.
“The workshops are free, open to all majors and no reservations are required,” Brown said.