A study at the University of Chicago showed that students experience high levels of anxiety before a test can receive quick help by simply writing their troubles on paper.
The study found that students who wrote down their worries and fears for just 10 minutes before an exam performed far better than those students who wrote about other topics or did not write anything at all.
Knowing that simple strategies may significantly improve test-taking is great news for parents and students. While expensive and time-consuming prep-courses have shown to be effective, the ability to increase scores by spending 10 minutes of ‘venting’ issues onto paper may be a more practical solution for many families.
Previous studies have shown that writing about past events that invoke an emotional response may reduce the amount of brain power a person uses on an event, making the brain more “available” to perform well on a test.
When analyzing students, those who wrote about test-related fears increased scores by an average of 4 percent while the students simply writing down whatever they wanted noticed no improvement.
Researchers explain that the act of writing down feelings or anxieties is the key here, not just the act of writing.