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Tiffany Myers

Tiffany Myers

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Test Anxiety and Strategies to Overcome It

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Test Anxiety

In the following weeks students will be taking several performance assessments that contribute to their future academic success. Test anxiety is a common hindrance that many students experience. According to the American Test Anxieties Association about 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, while 18% experience moderately-high test anxiety. Test anxiety can cause an array of problems in students, such as headache, upset stomach, loss of focus and anger. The higher the anxiety the more it reduces working memory, confuses reasoning, increasing mistakes, and lowers test scores. Students with high anxiety perform around 12 percentile points below their low anxiety peers (about half of a letter grade below).  

Research has shown that providing students with tools and strategies can assist students in overcoming test anxiety.  Two easy steps to mitigating test anxiety are getting a good night’s rest and eating a healthy breakfast on the day of the test. Here are a few other strategies that can assist in minimizing test anxiety.  

1.     Set Reasonable Expectations: Remember to think about it as one test at a time. Set reachable goals. If you set goals that are hard to achieve, it will only cause frustration and lack of motivation.

2.     Address the what-if-questions: Before an exam we tend to have several negative “what-if” thoughts. “What if I fail?” or “What if I run out of time.” Try writing a what-if question that is positive which will reverse the negative self- talk. For instance, “What if I can remember more than I think I can?”

3.     Practice Relaxation Techniques: If you are becoming tense during the exam, take deep slow breathes and consciously relax your muscles, one at a time. This can refresh your body and will allow you to better focus on the exam.

For more strategies to combat test anxiety check out:


Also remember teachers and school counselors can be a great resource!


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Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts
Lately, we have had great conversations about grit, rigor, tenacity, and academic stamina and how our students benefit greatly from having these life skills. What exactly does this mean? How do we help our students tackle large tasks and see them through to the end without getting frustrated and giving up? Grit is courage, resolve, strength of character and determination. Encouraging students to be courageous and take risks is key if we expect to make academic gains. Many times students are afraid to take a risk for fear of failure. It is our job as educators to scaffold our students learning and ensure that they are prepared to be risk takers while taking on rigorous tasks. An excellent example of a rigorous task and a challenge for our students to increase their stamina would be to enroll in an Advanced Placement (AP) course. 

Students who are taking an Advanced Placement course at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School are required to take the AP exam at the end of the course. They must also meet the requirements and standards of an AP course. Due to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses, students get the benefits of these courses being weighted on their transcripts. 

I would encourage students to take a risk and have the tenacity to complete an AP course during their high school career. If we are focused on having our student's college and career ready as they leave Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, they need to be encouraged to take risks and move outside of their comfort zones. Students will reap great benefits from the challenges of Advanced Placement courses. 

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Being a Good Writer: Writing tips and strategies from Lucy Calkins

Posted by on in Carroll CSC Blog Posts

Enjoy this inspirational video about writing by Lucy Calkins! 

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