William B. Cole Consultants Peak Performance Solutions
Home 
Services:
    Executive Coaching  
    Interview Coaching  
    Sales Coaching
    Media & Presentation Coaching  
    Stress Management Coaching  
    Test Anxiety Coaching  
    Sport Psychology Coaching  
    Consulting 
    Speaking & Training 
For Meeting Planners 
Free Success Articles 
Mental Game Quiz 
Products 
About Us 
Clients & Testimonials 
Coaching FAQ 
Media Room 
    Bill Cole on TV, Film & Radio  
    Mental Game Radio Show  
    Press Releases  
Resources 
Legal Notices 
Site Map 
Contact Us 
Bill Cole was awarded the LinkedIn ProFinder’s Best of 2017, for public speaking writing, coaching and consulting. The Best of 2017 badge signals best in class ranking on the LinkedIn platform. This recognizes the standout ProFinder professionals of the year.

Client Login



International Association of Coaches Founding Member
 
Mental Game Coach global alliances
 

Why You Choke On Tests – Know Why Test Stress Shows Up and How To Prevent It With Mental Toughness Training.    How is your poise under test pressure? Does your mind hold up? Do you choke? Your testing performance is only as good as your mental game. Where are your prime test choking arenas? Essays? Short answers? Multiple Choice questions? Timed tests? Does the pressure of the situation get to you? Can you handle the stress? This article explains choking and gives you and understanding of mental toughness, with three key strategies for learning it.    620 words.
The Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance Playbook



SHARE   Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Why You Choke On Tests

Know Why Test Stress Shows Up And
How To Prevent It With Mental Toughness Training



Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California



How is your poise under test pressure? Does your mind hold up? Do you choke? Your testing performance is only as good as your mental game. Where are your prime test choking arenas? Essays? Short answers? Multiple Choice questions? Timed tests? Does the pressure of the situation get to you? Can you handle the stress? This article explains choking and gives you and understanding of mental toughness, with three key strategies for learning it.

When I coach students of all ages and levels, mental toughness training is a central theme cutting across everything we do. The essence of being mentally tough in testing situations is being able to maintain your focus to perform the way you know you can.

What Happens When You Choke On A Test?

Choking is a particularly deadly form of being nervous. It's a full-blown case of nerves that stops you from concentrating, being alert, accessing your answers from memory and from thinking clearly. How many of these choking symptoms do you experience when you become nervous?

  1. You distract yourself by worrying about your performance.
  2. You emotionally over-react to your mistakes.
  3. You think your way through your performance, instead of being natural.
  4. You worry and try to control things you can't control.
  5. Your muscles tighten up and your breathing becomes shallower and faster.
  6. You think you're in trouble when you're not.
  7. You freeze up or rush, or leave details out.
  8. You try too hard to succeed.

Choking Begins For One Or Both Of These Reasons

  1. You make a personal assessment that this test is extremely important, and that failing would have seriously negative consequences.
  2. You have a negative reaction to an error you make, and that negativity amplifies to cause a downward spiraling disruption of your performance.

Mental Toughness Lets You Perform Under Pressure

A mental toughness training program gives you anti-choking skills. Mentally tough students maintain their peak performance skills under pressure.

Mentally tough students handle testing adversity, uncertainty, the set-backs with poise and determination. You can decide to be mentally tough. If you do, you'll have these mental characteristics:

  1. Your test performances will be consistent.
  2. You'll handle pressures well.
  3. You won't blow up the importance of the test in your own mind.
  4. You'll know how to access and stay in the zone during a performance.
  5. You'll have faith that things will work out.
  6. You'll reduce worry to a minimum, and actually channel the nervous energy into positive uses.
  7. You'll handle weariness and discomfort well.
  8. You'll tolerate frustrations and inconveniences well.
  9. You won't be emotionally reactive to errors.
  10. You'll maintain focus on your performance.
  11. You'll be flexible and adaptive.
  12. You'll thrive on stress and challenge.

Three Mental Toughness Strategies To Prevent Choking

Choking can be minimized by learning peak performance mind tools, and through proper mental practice strategies.

  1. Make your test practice situations as similar to the real thing as possible to simulate pressure. Include every realistic detail you can think of.
  2. Make your test practices more pressure-filled and demanding than the real thing will actually be, and the real deal will seem tame.
  3. Develop the mindset of "I love pressure" and then jump into it and enjoy the challenge of winning in that situation.

No one can make you choke without your permission. The power to control and stop choking is within you. You can't find that mental power anywhere else. Take charge of your tests and build the mental toughness that top students have.


Knowing about educational psychology and being test savvy is certainly an important part of being a good student, but top students who get consistently high grades also have a knowledge base and applied skills in stress control and peak performance. You need to know how to manage your mind, calm your emotions and relax your body so you can get into the “test zone”, that powerful, deeply focused mind-body state that gives you excellent recall, mental alertness and clarity. You need to learn these skills and become mentally tough so you can handle the extreme pressures of academia. Other mental skills training you need are visualization, confidence-building, mental readiness training and motivation skills.

To learn this set of mental toughness, zone, and stress control skills, sign up for our special Test Anxiety Stress Reduction Program or contact me for a complimentary review of your test-taking skills.


SHARE   Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Copyright © 2011- Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.


Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com), an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.

Free Re-Publishing Rights For This Article

You have our advance permission to republish this article, as long as you do not sell it. The author's name, web address (MentalGameCoach.com) and copyright notice (Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA) must appear in all reprinted articles. If the article appears on a website or in an e-zine, the article must include a link to a page in the MentalGameCoach website. We would also appreciate your including the author's bio and full contact information in your article, although this is not a requirement. For additional information, see our full article re-publishing permission guidelines.

Beating exam anxiety  
William B. Cole Consultants - Mental Game coaching, consulting, speaking and training

2085 East Bayshore Road #50412
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: (510) 270-0311
E-Mail: Bill@MentalGameCoach.com
Website: www.mentalgamecoach.com

 
   
William B. Cole Consultants name, design and related marks are trademarks of William B. Cole Consultants.
© 1997- William B. Cole Consultants. All rights reserved.

See our Privacy Policy

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Policies Notice