Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Reading may be fundamental, but report says writing beats test stress

A recent study finds that high school and college students who write for a period of 10 minutes before taking an exam do remarkably better than students who don't.

Reading may be fundamental, but report says writing beats test stress

Since at a young age, I loved to write. Poetry, short stories, songs, haikus, if I could write it, I would. It was therapeutic. It was certainly a stress-reliever. So, imagine my surprise, when I stumbled upon a recent study that found that high school and college students who write for a period of 10 minutes before taking an exam do remarkably better than students who don't.

Are you serious? So, they mean to tell me that all the poor marks I received on tests while in school could have been avoided had I jotted down some words before taking them?  

The study, released last Thursday by a team of University of Chicago psychological scientists, had half a class of freshmen facing their first final exams to write down their concerns about the upcoming test while other students journaled about an unrelated topic.

Those who wrote about their stress scored as well or better than those who didn't. The researchers repeated the experiment a year later with the same results.

 

The idea is to clear the working memory — sort of a mental scratch pad in the brain — of worries that interfere with the cognitive resources needed for the task at hand, reported the Chicago Tribune who wrote about the study last week.

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