4 Ways EdTech Can Help Students Combat Test Anxiety

If you’ve ever been a student, you probably know that feeling when the day of a big test comes. Regardless of whether you were a straight-A student and learned everything the night before or were a rebellious student who skipped all possible classes, the feeling was likely the same. A very strange, inexplicable, and overwhelming fear along with a sense of worry. And all of that wouldn’t end until the test is over. Now, if this feeling wasn’t either seen or addressed somehow in the past, the modern world aims to maximize the efficiency of students, developing new digital tools that can potentially help them overcome test anxiety

A Look Into Student’s Test Anxiety

With the rise of a personalized and student-centered approach to teaching in the modern education landscape, the mental health of the youth is studied rather closely nowadays. While the topic of the sources of students’ stress is worth its own scientific work, it’s worth focusing on test anxiety in particular as it’s often a strong contributing factor. 

Today’s students are under immense pressure, balancing schoolwork, after-curriculars, family and more. With the added stress of taking an important exam, a student’s body can actually enter flight or fight mode. Because of this, test anxiety can be debilitating for students, limiting their ability to perform to their true capabilities. We often hear students express frustration about completely blanking out, even after studying, due to an overwhelming fear of failure or  judgement. 

One notable thing about test anxiety is that it’s often overlooked regarding its duration. Many would think that stress and uneasy feeling begins right before the start of the test or the night before. Yet, the catch with pre-test anxiety is that it often begins much earlier, several weeks or months before the test, thus, having a strong cumulative effect once the test is due. It might hit a student as they are working on their statistics homework or simply having dinner. This, of course, can negatively influence the student’s academic progress, further strengthening the anxiety. But are there any modern EdTech tools that can put a student’s mind at ease? Let’s see!

Digital Solutions That Help Deal with Pre-Test Stress

Some of the following tech tools can and should be used by schools and universities on a regular basis to help relieve some students’ anxiety.

  1. Artificial intelligence to generate and schedule formative assessments. The feeling of an important, summative test looming over a student’s head can create an intense atmosphere of pressure. The apparent importance of the tests makes them seem like something too tough to handle, no matter how hard students might study to prepare themselves. Still, the main idea of tests is to check how students are doing right now. This is where formative assessment comes into play.Formative assessments are low-stakes (often ungraded) and delivered more frequently, given as some kind of checkpoint for students. And with the help of AI, this can be done much quicker and more efficiently. The studied material can be gathered and compiled into the corresponding questions and then scheduled to check students’ progress regularly enough so that the concept of a test becomes less threatening.
  2. Lecture databases to broaden students’ scope. Regular classes and lectures supplemented with  additional material are typically taken well by students. Including TED Talks and BBC documentaries in the program as additional materials might both increase students’ enthusiasm and send their fears of tests away by distracting them with interesting and useful information. What’s even better, is that these additional materials can be found online for free or at a reasonably low price.
  3. Virtual blackboards to exemplify tests for students. Another important factor in eliminating test anxiety is showing students that tests are as intimidating as they might expect. Showing examples of those tests is, of course, a great way to do this. There’s absolutely no problem in keeping the training tests open for students on the blackboard. Moreover, to save resources, these training tests can be generated by the same AI as the real tests and get refreshed from time to time. Finally, such tests can be shorter, demonstrating versions of the real tests, but not easier, as it is sometimes done at the moment.
  4. Other unconventional digital sources to improve students’ skills and confidence. There should really be no limitations when it comes to improving students’ academic progress and mental state. Essentially, schools can and should provide all resources that help students with their studies. Anything like YouTube tutorials and explanation videos, essay sample databases, and various libraries can be recommended in class for students to check out and get prepared properly.

The Way to an Anxiety-Free Future

Yes, test anxiety is a real thing, and quite a serious one too. Thankfully, however, we live in a world where solutions are developed at a rapid pace and are often just as effective as they need to be in order to make a difference. Educational technology, being an integrated part of education, is the primary place to start looking for answers when it comes to student mental health assistance. 

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