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  • Hi, I'm Thomas Frank, and this is Crash Course Study Skills.

  • Henry Fonda was a famous actor with a career that spanned 54 years and included starring roles in classic movies like 12 Angry Men and Once Upon a Time in the West.

  • He was one of the most well-known and successful actors of his time, bringing home an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and even a Grammy before retiring.

  • So it might surprise you to learn that Fonda had a lifelong struggle with performance anxiety.

  • In fact, even when he was 75 years old, with over half a century of acting experience under his belt, he would often throw up before beginning stage performances.

  • But, despite his anxiety and sudden lack of lunch, Fonda would still step out from behind the curtain and give the audience the great performance they expected.

  • That's because he understood one of the unavoidable facts of life – a fact that the author Steven Pressfield put so well in his book The War of Art:

  • Fear doesn't go away.

  • The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”

  • If you're a student, you might not be performing on a stage or facing down an enemy army,

  • but your tests and exams are battles all their own, and they often come with the same feelings of anxiety.

  • These feelings are normal, and you'll never truly banish them.

  • If you're doing work that's important to you, you'll always feel some amount of anxiety.

  • And that can actually be a good thing, because anxiety is an indicator that what you're doing IS important.

  • Otherwise, you'd be apathetic about it.

  • However, too much test anxiety can hurt you.

  • Research has shown that high-pressure situations can actually deplete your working memory.

  • Additionally, stress caused by anxiety produces a hormone called cortisol,

  • and too much cortisol can hinder the ability of the hippocampus to recall memories.

  • This means that it is crucial to learn how to manage your test anxiety.

  • You have to learn how to perform well in the face of it, and make sure it doesn't consume

  • your thoughts so you can actually solve that geometry proof that's staring you in the face.

  • Fortunately, there are several techniques and mental exercises you can use to do that.

  • Roll the intro!

  • [Theme Music]

  • Test anxiety is caused by many different factors, but today we're going to focus on the most common ones, which I call the Three Big Fears:

  • Number one: A fear of repeating past failures

  • Number two: The fear of the unknown

  • Number three: The fear of the stakes

  • Now, in a minute, we're going to dig into each of these fears and work to figure out how you can combat them,

  • but before we do that, there is one general purpose strategy I want to share with you.

  • The next time you feel anxious going into a test, take out a piece of paper and spend a couple minutes writing out exactly what's causing you to feel that way.

  • This has been scientifically proven to reduce test anxiety.

  • A study done at the University of Chicago found that students who were given 10 minutes to write about their fears and anxieties before a test

  • improved their scores by an average of nearly one grade point compared to the control group.

  • This technique works for pretty much the same reason that using a to-do list works:

  • It allows you to take all those worries out of your head and store them somewhere safe.

  • You've probably been in a situation before where you're stressed, and a friend tells you, “Hey, just don't worry about it, man!”

  • Of course, you can't – right?

  • You can't just let go of the things that are worrying youafter all, your brain thinks they're important.

  • However, by writing them down, you're unloading those worries into an external system that you trust.

  • Subconsciously, you know that they're not going anywhere.

  • And by doing this, you free up mental resources that you can then devote to doing well on the test.

  • So that brings us to our first big fear: the fear of repeating past failures.

  • Logically, everyone knows that failure is inevitable every once in awhile.

  • To err is human,” wrote Alexander Pope, and the realm of calculus finals is no exception.

  • But we're not always logical.

  • In fact, human beings have an inherent negativity bias

  • a tendency to remember and give more emotional weight to negative events rather than positive ones.

  • This is a feature of the brain that's pretty useful when it comes to survival

  • after all, remembering which mushrooms made you sick or not to try to shake hands with a tiger is pretty important for survival.

  • But the negativity bias doesn't limit itself to poisonous mushrooms or tigers;

  • any negative event can create feelings of apprehension and fear when it comes up again.

  • So even though almost everyone does poorly on tests and exams at least once in awhile,

  • when it happens to you, you might naturally fear that it'll happen again the next time around.

  • So how you do you actually beat this negativity bias?

  • Well, first, realize that you're not defined by your past successes or failures

  • despite what that insidious part of your brain might try to tell you.

  • While the path you're on right now is certainly in part a product of your past choices, it's not a path with a predetermined destination.

  • At any time, you can choose to do things differently than you did in the past.

  • If you're ready to do that, you need to start by analyzing your past mistakes and gathering as much information about them as you can.

  • After all, you can only improve if you know what you were doing wrong before.

  • Let's go to the Thought Bubble.

  • Elite chess players understand this concept really well.

  • While they spend a lot of their practice time playing games and studying the openings and endgames of players at higher ranks,

  • they also dedicate a ton of time to analyzing their own past gamesespecially the ones they lost.

  • By doing so, they can start to correct bad habits and uncover patterns in their playing, which can then be tweaked or improved in the future.

  • So take a cue from these chess playersas well as from elite performers in pretty much any other discipline, be it opera singers or figure skaters

  • and review your past exams to see how you can improve.

  • Start by getting your hands on a copy of your past exam;

  • if your teacher doesn't usually hand these out or let you take them home, talk to them after class and ask if you can at least look it over.

  • And while you're talking with them, also ask for feedback

  • especially if your exam contained short-answer or essay questions where there's no concrete answer.

  • Once you've got a past exam in your hands, review the mistakes you made.

  • Don't just acknowledge your mistakes; for each incorrect question, make sure you understand why your answer was the wrong one.

  • If it was a complex problemlike a math equationidentify the exact point where you made a mistake.

  • Additionally, make sure you know what the right answer was, and why it was right.

  • Before you move on, cross-reference the question with your notes, as well.

  • If you're going to be tested on that question againlike in a final examhighlight that section of your notes so you know it's important.

  • You can also create quiz questions for later review.

  • Overall, shoot for mastery over the material so you don't make the same mistake again.

  • Thanks, Thought Bubble.

  • The details of those incorrect questions aren't the only things that deserve reflection.

  • You also need to figure out why you made the mistakes in the first place.

  • Ask yourself: Was I unprepared?

  • And if so, why was I unprepared?

  • Did I simply not put enough time into reviewing?

  • Did I ignore the study guide?

  • Or did I use an ineffective study method?

  • If you feel that you were prepared, then maybe something went wrong during the actual exam.

  • Maybe you rushed through and made a lot of careless errors.

  • Or maybe you let time get away from you and didn't actually finish the whole exam.

  • Or maybe that creepy AI from Ghost in the Shell hacked your brain in the middle of the exam and forced you to spend the whole time licking your paper.

  • These things happen.

  • Whatever the reason was, don't let it get you down too much.

  • Remember that failure is a great teacherand it's a better one than success.

  • Since we remember our failures so well, every one of them is a lesson and an opportunity.

  • But you need to make sure that you use that opportunity by making a plan for how you'll avoid the mistake in the future.

  • Just saying “I'll do better next timeisn't enoughyou need to know exactly how you're gonna do better.

  • And that's not all you need to know.

  • In fact, the more you can learn about your exam in all its facets, the more comfortable you're gonna be.

  • This is the way to overcome the second of our big fears: The Fear of the Unknown.

  • People naturally fear what they don't understand, and in general, this is a good thing!

  • It's another one of those pieces of brain programming that's useful for survival, and most other animals share it with us.

  • When I visited New York City for the first time several years ago,

  • I noticed that the squirrels there seemed much less afraid of people than the squirrels back home in Iowa

  • but that was because these big-city squirrels had a lot of experience dealing with people, and it was mostly positive.

  • So try to gain as much experience with the upcoming exam as you can.

  • Now, we talked a lot about how to do this in the last video on preparing for tests,

  • but the general principle is to try to replicate the test conditions when you're studying.

  • Do your best to get access to practice tests and study guides, and create quizzes out of your notes to fill in the gaps.

  • Additionally, spend some time studying in a classroom that looks and feels similar to the one you'll be tested in,

  • and quiz yourself under the same time constraints that you'll face during the exam.

  • You want to make the test feel like a familiar old friend when you actually face it.

  • As Scott Berkun, a professional public speaker, put it:

  • By the time I present to an actual audience, it's not really the first time at all.”

  • That's the feeling you're going for.

  • And that brings us to the last of our big three fears, which is the Fear of the Stakes.

  • One of the biggest sources of test anxiety is the feeling that this test means everything

  • it's gonna define your overall grade, where you'll be able to go to college, and whether or not you'll get to work for Elon Musk some day.

  • But in reality, you're rarely going to come across a test or situation that you can't recover from in the case that things go wrong.

  • Trust me – I actually failed a test in college once.

  • And Nick over there actually failed an entire classtwice.

  • And, even worse, I was once fired from a job.

  • In both cases it was totally my fault, but I learned my lessons, I made sure I never made the same mistakes again, and I moved on.

  • And even if things don't go perfectly for you, you'll be able to do the same thing.

  • If that's not comforting enough, try reframing the test in your mind.

  • Think of it as yet another learning opportunity rather than as a judgement.

  • After all, a test challenges you to recall what you've learned, and as we've already discussed,

  • active recall strengthens your mastery over the material.

  • Andat least for meviewing a test this way makes it seem a lot less scary.

  • Lastly, keep in your mind that anxiety isn't something you always need to try to deal with on your own.

  • If you have anxiety that's majorly affecting your life, don't hesitate to ask a professional for help.

  • Hopefully you found this week's video to be helpful.

  • Next week, we'll be switching gears and talking about how to write great research papers and essays.

  • See you then!

  • Crash Course Study Skills is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney Crash Course Studio in Missoula, MT, and it's made with the help of all of these nice people.

  • If you'd like to help keep Crash Course free for everyone, forever, you can support this series over at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love.

  • Thank you so much for your support.

Hi, I'm Thomas Frank, and this is Crash Course Study Skills.

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テストの不安クラッシュコースの学習スキル#8 (Test Anxiety: Crash Course Study Skills #8)

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    squallriver史嗑爾 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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