Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

Exam Performance: A Quick and Easy Way to Nail That Test

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A Quick and Easy Way to Improve Exam Performance

Generally, the best thing about sitting an exam is the ‘Push’ sign on the door on the way out.

Anxiety and exams tend to come as a package deal. (And if exam performance don’t make you anxious then most likely you’re way past caring/ too well prepared. In the case of the latter – a tilt of the hat to you.)

The human mind only has a limited amount of resources available to devote to any one task at a time. With anxiety comes intrusive thoughts that consume some of those mental resources, leaving leaves less available to retrieve the information that has been studied.

Anything that interferes with effective memory retrieval will potentially compromise performance.

Researchers have now found a quick and easy way to reduce test anxiety and improve test performance – look through the exam before working on it.

Anxiety is a shapeless, faceless foe, fuelled by what-ifs and unknowns what might be hovering. The negative thoughts that come with anxiety tend to be dirty little liars, always implying that trouble is around the bend.

By reading through a test straight up, anxiety about what the exam might contain is reduced. True, some questions might still have teeth, but provided the work has been done beforehand, this will always less than imagined.

With anxiety reduced, the working memory resources that are consumed by intrusive thoughts are freed up, making more resources available for the test and ensuring peak exam performance.

Now of course, all the working memory resources in the world won’t find the right answers if they were put there solidly in the first place.

Pity.

But here’s something that might help with that. 

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Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.








Hey Sigmund on Instagram

If we knew everything - absolutely everything - ab If we knew everything - absolutely everything - about each other everything we do would make sense. It doesn’t mean it would be okay, but it would make sense. 
.
Too often though, when our kids do things that aren’t so ‘adorable’ we are quick to judge, either them, ourselves, or both. The truth of it all is that as much as our kids need boundaries, they (and we) need compassion and space to find clarity. If we can look at their behaviour, as wild as it might be, with curious eyes, we’re more likely to be able to give them what they need to move forward. For sure we might be furious or baffled by what they’re doing, but if we could understand everything going on for them it would make sense. 
.
All behaviour is driven by a need, and if we can look at their behaviour with curiosity (and I know how hard this can be sometimes!) we can discover the blind spots that can reveal the need. The need might be connection, attention, stillness, food, a sleep, a cuddle, space, a little power and influence (especially if they’ve been following rules all day at school) - all valid.
.
Of course we need to talk to them about how to meet the need in ways that don’t end in chaos, but the time for this will come after the storm. If the need isn’t clear, that’s okay. Preserve the connection with them as much as you can by validating what you see and letting them know you’re there. Then, ‘I know if I could understand everything that’s going on for you right now what you’re doing would make sense. Can you help me understand?’ They might not be able to explain if they are in big emotion, but ride the wave with them until the emotion eases and then talk. 
.
Our kids and teens are no different to us. We all do things that dull our shine sometimes. We don’t do these things because we’re bad, we do them most often because we’re feeling bad. When this happens, we don’t need judgement. Nope. We know when we’re being feral, just like our kids have a clue when they are. What we (and they) need is space to find calm and clarity. As their important big person, the space you create in your connection with them is the most healing, calming, insight-making space of all.♥️

If we knew everything - absolutely everything - about each other everything we do would make sense. It doesn’t mean it would be okay, but it would make sense.
.
Too often though, when our kids do things that aren’t so ‘adorable’ we are quick to judge, either them, ourselves, or both. The truth of it all is that as much as our kids need boundaries, they (and we) need compassion and space to find clarity. If we can look at their behaviour, as wild as it might be, with curious eyes, we’re more likely to be able to give them what they need to move forward. For sure we might be furious or baffled by what they’re doing, but if we could understand everything going on for them it would make sense.
.
All behaviour is driven by a need, and if we can look at their behaviour with curiosity (and I know how hard this can be sometimes!) we can discover the blind spots that can reveal the need. The need might be connection, attention, stillness, food, a sleep, a cuddle, space, a little power and influence (especially if they’ve been following rules all day at school) - all valid.
.
Of course we need to talk to them about how to meet the need in ways that don’t end in chaos, but the time for this will come after the storm. If the need isn’t clear, that’s okay. Preserve the connection with them as much as you can by validating what you see and letting them know you’re there. Then, ‘I know if I could understand everything that’s going on for you right now what you’re doing would make sense. Can you help me understand?’ They might not be able to explain if they are in big emotion, but ride the wave with them until the emotion eases and then talk.
.
Our kids and teens are no different to us. We all do things that dull our shine sometimes. We don’t do these things because we’re bad, we do them most often because we’re feeling bad. When this happens, we don’t need judgement. Nope. We know when we’re being feral, just like our kids have a clue when they are. What we (and they) need is space to find calm and clarity. As their important big person, the space you create in your connection with them is the most healing, calming, insight-making space of all.♥️
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