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Write to relax before an exam

Updated on January 17, 2011

Tea, deep breathing, sleep well. 
A multiple strategies to overcome nerves before exams is now added writing. A study published in the journal Science, highlights the benefits of writing reflect the emotions to the test to which we will submit. This practice releases the mental stress and promotes good results. 
"An intervention of 10 minutes prior to the examination and arising from the psychological theories on stress and performance, can prevent the burden and improve performance, especially among students usually get nervous before tests," it says Gerardo Ramirez and Sian L. Beilock, University of Chicago (USA). 
As these authors stress, the feeling that many feel nervous before undergoing a test "blurs" the short-term memory. This is usually translated in a worse performance and, therefore, in some lower grades than expected. 
"Writing can ease the burden of the concerns to provide an opportunity to reassess the stressful experience," says the job. Under this maxim, offered the opportunity to express in writing their thoughts and feelings of various groups of students. 
More or less stressed students 
Two of the studies focused on college students who met for a couple of mathematical proofs. In the first, only asked them to do their best. In the second, before, they introduced a bit of pressure "extra." 
Among other topics, they spoke of a monetary reward for which he did best and the importance of their results to help the rest of the group. Then, some were able to write about the feelings that produced the upcoming test or not emotional about something else, the rest waited 10 minutes without assignment. 
The data obtained speak in favor of students who chose to express their nerves before the test. Compared with the first test, they did without any conditions, the notes of the second test were 5% better, something that happened to other participants. 
To corroborate these data, the researchers decided to move to a real environment, not to the test organized. On two occasions, examined the impact of this practice in fifty high school students. Before making his first final, half of them had the opportunity to write about their feelings toward the test. And the rest were asked to think about an issue that would not fall into the test (control group). 
"The more anxious students showed the control group, the lower the note", says the document. However, this did not happen among those who put their concerns in writing, a practice that was particularly effective for young people often used to feel nervous. "A short and expressive writing reduce failures in performance that are associated with the pressures of exams," Ramirez expressed Beilock. But he added: "It is not worth any kind of writing but it serves to express concerns about the impending stress situation." 
In addition to helping students in their exams, this practice could be helpful in other environments for anxiety, like a job interview or a selection process to get a scholarship.


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      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I can see how writing before an exam can help calm the nerves.