Over two decades of developing award-winning study and stress reduction programs taught us many important lessons about helping people overcome anxiety and improve academic, testing and work success. We’d like to share with you the three we find most important.
1.Anxiety is hurting the grades of over 60% of students.
If fear of testing is interfering with your academic success, you are not alone. About 61% of all students reported being affected by test anxiety and 26% experience high levels of test anxiety often, or most of the time (Bradley et al., 2007, p xii). Numerous studies have also shown that the higher the anxiety, the harder it is to learn and remember information (Zeidner, 1998, p. 215).
2. Skills to study efficiently, overcome test anxiety and relax are actually very simple and can be learned easily.
Whether it is effective note taking, quick skimming of a text to find the key information, or even last-minute cramming (because, yes, we’ve all slacked off before!), the skills needed to put aside your fears and make the best of your study time can often be outlined clearly and learned quickly; they are no different than your other skills, like learning to browse the internet or ride a bicycle. And you know what they say about forgetting how to ride a bicycle…
3. How confident you are may be more important than how smart you are.
Academic success is not just about how “smart” you are according to results of tests such as SAT or GRE. Successful students aren’t necessarily those with the highest IQ, but those with the best study techniques and positive attitude. Daniel Goleman writes in his classic book Emotional Intelligence:
“As with hope, optimism predicts academic success. In a study of five hundred members of the incoming freshman class of 1984 at the University of Pennsylvania, the students’ scores on a test of optimism were a better predictor of their actual grades freshman year than were their SAT scores or their high-school grades” (Goleman, 1997, p. 88).
If you or someone you care about want to become more successful (more skilled and more confident) you are in the right place. Check out our brief Free Evaluation to get an idea which of these skills you can improve in order to start getting better grades and scores!