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Showing posts with the label exams

From Fear to Focus: Strategies for Overcoming Exam Anxiety

In part 1 of this series – From Fear to Focus: Acknowledging the Reality of Exam Anxiety – we explored the universal experience of exam anxiety and its contributors. We described the interconnected nature of these contributors, and how peoples’ experiences with exam anxiety are based on their own unique beliefs and triggers. Identifying the personal beliefs and behaviors that contribute to exam anxiety is an essential first step. Taking this step allows individuals to begin developing strategies for facing exams with confidence. Strategies for Overcoming Exam Anxiety While the strategies that follow are loosely aligned with the contributors described in part 1 of this series, like the contributors they are all interconnected and so can all be applied as needed. Feeling unprepared: Get to know the syllabus. The course syllabus outlines the expected learning outcomes, what source material(s) the exam is based on, and the exam format (duration, types of questions, etc.). This cl

From Fear to Focus: Acknowledging the Reality of Exam Anxiety

By Donna Knapp Exams have a way of making even the most prepared students feel nervous and anxious. The ticking clock, the pressure to perform, and the fear of failure, can all combine to make even the most confident student feel overwhelmed. Exam anxiety is a universal experience that affects students of all ages and backgrounds. Understanding its causes and learning how to overcome its hold can enable individuals to face exams with confidence. Acknowledging the Reality of Exam Anxiety We will explore strategies for overcoming exam anxiety in part 2 of this series but let us first acknowledge that it is normal and even okay to feel some stress before an exam. It is a sign that you care and that you want to do your best. In this case, what you are experiencing is eustress, a type of stress that is viewed as positive or beneficial. It is what propels us to learn and improve. It is what drives us towards a desired goal, even if getting there is a challenge. Conversely, the stress associa

Live vs. Sample Exams: Which is Harder?

By Felipe Villegas and Donna Knapp (Reposted with permission from Professional Designations) A frequent observation among certification candidates is the notion that sample exams are less daunting compared to real certification tests. Despite both types of exams being designed to mirror each other closely, this perception persists. In this blog post, we will explain how exams are built and will speculate about the underlying factors contributing to this perception. Certification exams, whether sample or live, are constructed based on a standardized blueprint that outlines the distribution of questions, desired difficulty levels, and other technical details. These exams are assembled using a comprehensive pool of questions, each of which is classified by learning objective, topic, and level of difficulty. Once multiple exams are built, one or more are selected at random to be distributed as sample exams. If all exams are constructed the same way, why are sample exams often perceived a