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Traditional belief dictates that the student performance in written exams shows the amount of knowledge they have retained. Time and again, numerous academicians, psychologists as well as parents have contradicted such thinking. Low scores on college admissions exams and other standard tests can actually send gifted students to low quality colleges and universities. A new study by University of Chicago Associate Psychology Professor Sian L. Beilock, has also debunked this traditional belief.
Working together with a graduate school student Gerardo Ramirez, Beilock discovered that poor grades and low exam scores are usually caused by test anxiety. Common in most U.S. classrooms, test anxiety makes the students concentrate more of their memory and brainpower in worrying rather than focusing and doing their best in answering the test. Beilock further stated that worrying competes with the brain in recalling the subject information stored during exam reviews.
Laura Brady, who is a practicing lawyer at present, still remembers her traumatic experience as a former New Jersey college student when she had to get out at the middle of linear algebra session due to test anxiety. Due to the high stress level, Brady even thought that she was having a cardiac arrest. She was able to calm down only after having an emotional telephone conversation with her mother. Brady remembers that as a child, so much emphasis was placed on above satisfactory test and grade achievement. Nowadays, Brady still gets nervous inside the courtroom. However, she now realizes that effort is more important than achievement which is a lesson that she also teaches to her children.
Using college students as well as high school students in the laboratory research, Beilock found out that simple writing sessions prior to the exams can solve and relieve the test anxiety of students. Giving students several minutes to write and express their feelings before taking the written examination can actually improve their scores by almost one grade point. This writing exercise frees up the mind of worrying and focus its power more into answering and completing the test based on the student’s best ability. Since writing does not require a lot of time, effort and money, Beilock suggested that students, teachers and parents can start using this remedy right away.
According to Beilock, this research finding is applicable to any situation which might cause anxiety regarding a person’s performance like a college debate, an oratorical speech or even a job interview. Expressing their feelings through writing can fight depression. An individual can write about a traumatic event that he or she encountered recently. By being aware of what you can do to cope up with pressures can really help improve your performance during stressful situations.
The details of this major research are discussed in Beilock’s newest book entitled “Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To” which was published in September 2010. Beilock is presently embarking in a new research funded by the National Science Foundation that will actually look inside the human brain and how it reacts to stressful and anxious situations. Beilock wants to develop more remedies in coping up with day-to-day pressures and stress.Don't Get Rejected Because of Your Weak Essay
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