HomeHealthExam results are not always negatively impacted by stress.

Exam results are not always negatively impacted by stress.

A survey presents its findings on what ultimately affects stress in trainingthe exam is stressful, especially for those who generally have a stressful predisposition. The eerie silence of the Hall. The repeated ticking of the clock. The dogged gaze of the overseer. The smug expression of the person sitting at the next desk who has finished 15 minutes early.

What is surprising, perhaps, according to a study recently published in Psychological Science by Maria Theobald and her colleagues at the Leibniz Institute for research and information in education, is that it is not the pressure of the exam room that is causing the problem. It’s the pressure of repetition.

Dr. Theobald theorized that if anxiety actually impedes a student’s ability to transfer known information from the brain to paper through the pen, then those with high levels of anxiety would perform worse on a real test, when it really mattered, than in a simulation or during online practice sessions. In addition, he expected that this drop in performance would be associated with levels of the aforementioned anxiety in the exam.

Therefore, he worked with 309 German medical students preparing for the final state exams, the most important in their lives. This test consists of 230 questions shared over three five-hour exams over three days.

During the 100 days before the final exam, all of its volunteers used a digital learning platform, which presented them with old exam questions and recorded their performance. They also took part in a virtual examination, which had been clarified to them as indeed such, 40 days before the actual procedure.


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