Monthly Archives: November 2009

Ongoing test stress? Here's a tip…

Tests can empower you

Tests can empower you

Are you  one of millions who go through the test stress drama on a daily basis?

Not surprising. Test taking is on the rise. Every year, Americans take more and more tests: SATs, APs, GREs, MCATs, LSATs, standardized state exams for children, and professional licensing exams for adults.

The list goes on. And so does your test stress experience…

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Test prep tip: test stress after the test

What happens to you when a test is over?

You’ve just finished the test…it’s over…and you’re finally treated to a welcome sense of relief.

Well, maybe.  Because even if  you are relieved that feeling may last only a few seconds.

Most people walk out of the classroom obsessing over their performance. Question twenty-three. Did I read that right? Did it mean something completely different than what I thought?

This is a useless activity, of course, and it just reinforces your sense of helplessness because you can’t go back and re-do it.  What’s more…

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Test stress tip: test prep anxiety

Way too much going on?

Way too much going on?

What about feeling stressed before the test?

Whether you are in high school, college or graduate school, you will never find yourself with an unlimited amount of time to memorize, or even fully comprehend, all the material given to you, and sometimes it just seems like too much for your inner hard drive to hold. I’ve heard people say, “There’s just no more storage space.”

The sad thing is that sometimes you actually begin to enjoy the material; you want to grasp it at a deeper level and find the answers to real questions.

But there’s no time for that.

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Test anxiety tip #1: what is "test stress"?

Got test stress?

Got test stress?

To obtain anything these days – from a driver’s license to a doctor’s license, from citizenship papers to a college degree – you have to take a test. And standing in the way of passing the test – for many people, from all walks of life – is test stress.

One of the top three questions I am asked most frequently as I speak around the country to teach the 3-legged performance model is this, “What is test stress?

Great question…

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Test prep tip: control your breath

As an American citizen I want to offer prayers and gratitude for all at Fort Hood, those in uniform and their military families.

Secondly, as a performance psychologist, I want to salute to Sgt. Munley and Senior Sgt. Todd. Between the two of them they saved many unarmed soldiers from the gunman’s firings. Their shining courage, strength and selfless service have become examples from which we can all learn. Oprah asked them how  they do what they do in the midst of such horrific confusion and chaos?  Here’s what they said ( I’m paraphrasing)…

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Test prep tip: keep your mind positive

I came across an article about a successful program designed for at-risk students and dropouts working toward their GED.  It’s an 18 month program in which students learn academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills through hands-on-activities.

Karen Bryant, who mentors students even after graduation, said she credits the success of the program to a relationship built on trust and respect with her students. Many of the students have remained friends of Bryant over the years.

In the ‘confidence’ leg of my 3-legged stool performance model I explore into the relationship between ‘trust’ and ‘confidence.’

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Higher test scores. A tip for parents.

Talk with your child about test goalsTalking about his family, President Obama said, “And part of our job as parents — Michelle and my job — is not just to tell our kids what to do, but to start instilling in them a sense that they want to do it for themselves.”

I remember a high school student  brought in by her parents. I asked her, “Do you know why you are here?” She immediately replied, “Yes. My parents want me to get higher SAT score. And I don’t want to work for it.”

Then the three of them leaned in. All eyes were on me…

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Test stress: you are not alone

A review of THE WORKBOOK FOR TEST SUCCESS just got posted on Amazon from an individual preparing for a licensing exam. It’s titled, “The Best Investment I Made.”


The highly enthusiastic review has a line in it I’d like to share. By using the book the reader said “I was able to open up to my study group about what I was experiencing. Consequently we have turned into a real support group.”

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You can reduce your test anxiety!

Got test anxiety?

Got test anxiety?

When I begin working with a client, the first question I always ask is, “What do you think causes your test stress?”

What’s your answer?

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Body agitation up, test performance down

While I was in the midst of editing my book, a bright high school senior named Jamal came to see me. Anxiously, he asked me to help him raise his SAT scores by 200.

"Tests make me tense!"

"Tests make me tense!"

As Jamal spoke, his right leg bounced up and down rapidly, his shoulders tensed and rose almost to his ears, and his speech accelerated like a car with a jammed gas pedal. Several times while he spoke, he held his breath. “Just talking about the test makes me nervous,” he said anxiously. “I feel like I’m flipping out right now. This is what happened to me on the SAT.”

Is he right? Wrong.

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