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If students can't control pre-exam anxiety with good preparation and techniques like deep breathing perhaps it's time to seek the help of a school councillor or family physician. This would be recommended when the anxiety is higher than normal.
If a student is well prepared for an exam, has all of the necessary tools arranged ahead of time and knows where and when the exam will be in addition to arriving on time it should greatly reduce the amount of anxiety the student will experience.
I have taken yoga for many years and find deep breathing to be a very effective and simple way to relieve stress. Here is a simple 2-minute exercise students can practise anywhere. http://video.about.com/altmedicine/2-Minute-Relaxation-Technique.htm Speaking a second language can be very stressful for students. I have had experience trying to help students relax so that they can focus on the language and not be overwhelmed by frustration they may be feeling at not being able to proceed as quickly as they wish. Maintaining a sense of humour and helping students relax can help them keep things in perspective and encourage them to keep going. Some students put too much pressure on themselves and they need to take a break from time to time.
When you become anxious try to calm yourself by visualizing a place where you feel very calm and serene. For someone who is susceptible to anxiety it often a helpful techniques for getting coping with anxiety. I'm an anxious flyer, so whenever I feel nervous on a flight, I imagine that I am floating in the shallow waters at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. (Pancake Bay)
Anticipate questions that may be asked about the topic. Summarize important points as you listen.
As students take notes and do review they should be identifying the main points and anticipating the questions that may be asked on a test or exam.
Repeating what you have learned by saying it aloud helps students identify any gaps that may exist.
This young woman has some very sound advice for developing good study habits in preparation for exams and tests. One of the things that she thinks works well for her is to study with someone else and advises students not to procrastinate. Check it out! http://youtu.be/8rEri2SN5_Y
Do's, Get a Good Night's Sleep, Exercise, Get Ready, Keep a Good Balance of Diet & Exercise & Fun, Avoid Refined Sugar, New node, New node, Eat Healthy Snacks, fruit, cheese & crackers, nuts, Stay Hydrated - Don't forget to drink water., Be On Time
Don'ts, Don't Cram, Don't Keep Studying Right Up Until the Last Minute, Don't Take Your Books, Avoid Caffeine, Don't Procrastinate (It leads to Cramming)
Jot Down Important Points
Look Over the Test
Do the Easiest Questions First
Read the Questions Carefully
Help students recognize what they do know instead of focusing on what they don't know.
Great tips for How to Study from the University of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/study.html
Some great suggestions from My Tutor World for improving reading skills: http://www.mytutorworld.com/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=98 As an ESL Instructor I have learned the skills needed to help students understand what they are hearing or reading through pre-reading and guided reading techniques. Pre-reading involves reviewing new or unfamiliar vocabulary and guided reading is a method of questioning a student about the content as they are reading material.
It is helpful if an advisor has experience or knowledge of the standard exams which a student may have to take in their field of expertise. In my case, as an ESL advisor, I have attended professional development courses on how to help students to tackle TOEFL exams (Test of English as a Foreign Language) which many students may need to pass in order to enter some universities and colleges. I am also familiar with other qualifying exams such as IAELT's and MeLab.
Techniques for Improving Memory, Flash Cards, Link Method, Take Breaks, Sing It to Remember It, Chunking Material into Meaningful Pieces
Identify Ways to Focus, Tidy Work Space, Away from Windows, Turn off TV's, stereo's, music, Study at a Library, No Facebook, Instant Messaging Turn off Cell-phone While Working
Provide Advice for Coping with Anxiety
Time Management, Start Early, Develop a Study Plan, Plan to Study When Most Alert
Help Student Develop Ways to Demonstrate What He/She Knows, Mind-mapping, Tables, Diagrams, Graphs, Oral & Written Summaries, Mind Mapping
Techniques for Multiple Choice Questions