Los Angeles Collegian Online

Life Skills Center Offers Tips and Therapy Workshop for Test Anxiety

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Center will offers addiction counseling and other workshops in February

By James Duffy V

Coordinator of the Life Skills Counseling Center, Joe Exnowski, passed critical exams to become a therapist. He says he understands the stress that tests can give students. “For the most part we need people to recognize when they get stressed out for a test,” Exnowski said. “You really go blank.” 

LACC student Lioness-Sia Kamara attended the test anxiety workshop hosted by the LACC Life Skills Center on Dec. 8. “I’ve been using the commodore technique. — studying for 20 minutes and using a timer,” Kamara said. Screenshot by James Duffy V.

The marriage and family therapist had to pass a three-hour licensing exam to earn the credential that permitted his practice. The Life Skills Center at LACC offered a free test anxiety workshop on Dec. 8 for students.  Center counselors provided attendees with strategies to handle test stress. 

LACC Life Skills Center Counselor Daina Castro offered student strategies for identifying and handling test anxiety on Dec. 8 at an online workshop. Screenshot by James Duffy V.

At the meeting, therapists noted anxiety can be cycle of fear. Test anxiety is a fear of failure, the organizers told 15 LACC students at the workshop. One of the meeting’s hosts, Daina Castro, says she likes to relax before starting her day by listening to Harry Styles. She recommended using a planner and to avoid “negative self-talk.”

“If I can keep telling myself I’m a failure, I’m probably not going to do my best,” Castro said.

LACC Life Skills Center Counselor Lovely Kaur solicited input from students about their experiences of test anxiety at a Dec. 8 workshop online. Screenshot by James Duffy V.

She says test-anxiety can spiral into increased forms of anxiety. Procrastination, poor sleep and eating habits can all exacerbate fears about test taking. 

Exnowski emphasized that once you are in stress mode, it is hard to perform. 

“It’s like when you put something in a room in your house and you forget what room you put it in,” he said.

Several students in attendance said they would use the techniques the therapists suggested.

Lioness-Sia Kamara suggested a method for handling anxiety of her own, “the commodore technique.” 

“I study for 20 minutes and use a timer. That really helps me stay focused. A little incremental progress is better than no progress,”

Kamara said.

The Life Skills Center hosted another session on relationships and healthy dating on Dec. 15. They will hold more free workshops including one discussing substance abuse beginning in February. 

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