Entrance Exam Preparation and the Reduction of Stress Caused by High-Stakes Testing

There is a feeling of anxiety that accompanies just about every exam taken at any level of schooling that, in the majority of cases, is managed and overcome by students with relative ease. A simple quiz will cause only a bit of minor stress that is easily endured, but a midterm exam is likely to lead to more difficulty due to the weight these exams tend to carry. It should be quite clear that as the stakes are raised, the level of anxiety associated with testing goes up in a manner commensurate to the way the student perceives the importance of the outcome.

This is the irony of high-stakes testing: Students who care a great deal about the outcome of the exam are also far more likely to be adversely affected by rising levels of stress. There are many ways to manage test-taking anxiety, but the most effective method is for the student to be thoroughly prepared and confident well in advance of the exam. The opposite is also true as students who fail to prepare well for an exam will exacerbate their feelings of stress and anxiety to such a degree that their less-than-optimal performance can be attributed in part to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It should be noted that all students are affected by test-taking anxieties in different ways, and some students are certainly more acutely aware of their anxieties than others. Through the use of preparatory strategies that include tutoring and practice tests, students can reduce the stress and anxiety they feel as the test draws near and can feel a sense of confidence regarding their performance that produces a feeling of calm that lasts throughout the entirety of the examination.

Of all the exams a student faces during their academic career, few are as stressful as entrance exams since they are easily — and correctly — perceived as having such a profound impact on the educational path a student is able to take. Students who take advantage of exam-specific preparation courses such as the ones provided by the Groza Learning Center often find that they feel a pervasive sense of calm during high-stakes testing situations. This is because they have been thoroughly prepared and feel the utmost confidence due to their profound familiarity with the exam’s content.

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