Test Taking Anxiety During Testing Situations
Lesson Plan created by: Emily Rosenbaum, Jamie Ruble, and Jennifer Dalton
Title: Recognizing and Coping with Test-Taking Anxiety
Setting Purpose: Ask students to close their eyes and form a mental image of themselves in class. Tell them to imagine they are about to take a big test. Consider the following questions: How are you feeling? What are you thinking?
Introduction: Explain to students that many students feel very anxious or afraid before and during testing situations. Ask students to share with a partner how they felt when they imagined they were about to take a big test. Discuss this as a class. Read aloud Testing Miss Malarkey.
Guided Practice: Pose the following questions and discuss (in whole group or small groups): How were the things that happened in this story like what happens to you when you take big tests? How are testing situations different for you than they were for this class? Discuss how this story exaggerates what actually happens very frequently in schools during tests such as the North Carolina End-of-Grade Test.
Independent Practice: Place students in small groups. Provide each group with a poster board and markers. Give each group a question to answer from the following list: How can you prepare ahead of time for a test? What can you do for yourself the night before, and the morning of, a test so that you will be more ready to take the test? If you begin feeling nervous right before a test, or during a test, what can you do to relax? Allow students to answer the questions by creating a picture or making bullets of helpful items. When students have had the opportunity to answer their question completely, allow each group to present their ideas to the class.
Closing: Ask students to use what they have learned to write down 2 things they will use before or during testing situations to help them focus on the test and relax. This will be their “Ticket Out the Door” at the end of the lesson.
Evaluation: Allow students the opportunity to write a message on a sticky note about what they found helpful about the lesson and/or any additional questions they have about the information discussed in the lesson.