"Writing about your worries for 10 minutes before an upcoming exam leveled the playing field such that those students who usually get most anxious during exams were able to overcome their fears and perform up to their potential," according to primary investigator and University of Chicago professor of psychology Sian Beilock.
Beilock found that students performed better on the test when they wrote specifically about the test anxiety itself. Beilock suggests that these findings are useful for particularly anxious students who should consider writing for 10 minutes about their anxiety before a class in whcih they must write an exam. Even if instructors do not invite students to write about their anxiety before an in class exam they might consider suggesting that particularly anxious writers spend ten minutes writing about their anxiety before beginning an essay, homework assignment, or test.
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Students can combat test anxiety and improve performance by writing about their worries immediately before the exam begins, according to a University of Chicago study published Friday in the journal Science.