In my capacity as Learning Specialist in the Counseling Center, I frequently see students who suffer from some form of test anxiety. I draw an analogy for them that equates an exam with the opening https://argoprep.com/blog/adjectives-starting-with-r-455-words-to-boost-your-vocabulary/ night of a performance and ask them, “How would you prepare if you were in a stage production?” Of course, they say they would rehearse frequently, reading their lines repeatedly until they knew them flawlessly, and attend a “dress” rehearsal. Test-taking, I explain, is similar to preparing for a part in theater, in that
When I teach reading and study skills, I employ the rehearsal strategy in getting the students to prepare for the midterm and final exam. I ask them to create their own exams with separate answer sheets. They are allowed to include anything they think might appear on the exam within certain guidelines, such as type and number of questions. To encourage them to come up with challenging questions and avoid taking the “easy way out”, I award the students anywhere between 0 and 10 points based on the general quality of their exam. These points are then added to their ACTUAL midterm or final exam score.
When they bring their exams to class, they exchange exams with a classmate. They are permitted to use their books, as needed, during this rehearsal. When finished, they check their answers against the prepared answer sheet, and if there is any dispute over a correct answer, I settle the argument. Once they determine which questions they have missed, they are told to record those questions and answers in their notebook; those questions are their weak areas and obviously require further study.