Answers to Your College Questions
Blog posts tagged in Test Anxiety
The SAT and ACT are fast approaching. You’ve spent weeks—months—studying and preparing for this all-important test. (Or maybe you haven’t, and you’re starting to panic.) You feel like your brain will explode if you try to cram any more information in, but you can’t just sit around and wait for test day to come. Are there any last-minute tips and tricks you can use to make the most of the time ticking away? The answer is YES!
As important as it is to spend the time memorizing math equations and word roots, it’s equally important to make good use of the last days and hours before the test. A mistake that many students make is trying to absorb too much information in a short period of time. Studies have shown that this is not an effective way to study.
Do you ever wonder why some students freeze up during exams while others breeze through without breaking a sweat? In the New York Times article “Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart?,” authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman say the answer may lie in your genes. Recent research on the COMT gene reveals that the gene has two variants: one that removes dopamine from the brain slowly, and another that removes it quickly. Interestingly, people who have the faster-acting enzyme tend to perform better in high-stress situations such as taking tests.
But the story doesn’t end there: students who were told that their anxiety would be beneficial to them showed improved cognitive function. And people who are acclimated to stress can improve their performance, even if they carry the so-called “worrier” gene. These studies are important because they show students that they can overcome their fear of taking tests; instead of being at the mercy of their genes, they can take steps to control their reaction to stress.