Chapter 8 Outline

Chapter 8: Dealing With Tests

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We all face a test of some kind every day. Tests can be emotional, ethical, educational and professional. Chapter Eight discusses successful test taking to ease anxiety and strengthen your skills through integrity, common sense and confidence.

I. Making the Grade in Your Personal Life

Having a set of well-defined values will help you stay on course to meet personal challenges.

a. What Are Values? A value is a guiding principle that helps make choices in life. We use values everyday such as holding the door open for the person behind us; however, values can also be negative such as selfishness and apathy. Values are qualities by which you live your life and your reputation is primarily built on your values through your actions.

b. What is the Difference Between Ethics and Values? The dictionary defines ethics as a group of morals that characterizes actions as right or wrong. Ethics is something you have or you don’t, but everyone has values. The value choices you make prove whether or not you have ethics.

c. Integrity, the Secret Ingredient. Even people with strong values may act unethically in certain situations. This is when integrity becomes crucial. Integrity is who you are when no one is looking.

d. Know Thyself. If you know who you are, you know the values and ethics that guide you. This gives you the ability to have confidence that few situations will catch you off guard.

e. The Stages of Moral Development. Lawerence Kohlberg published The Psychology of Moral Development in which he proposes six stages of development.

i. Stage one. “Please the authority figure.” An act is considered bad if the person committing the act gets punished.

ii. Stage two. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” This is a “what’s in it for me” mentality in which other people’s well being is in his or her own best interest.

iii. Stage three. “Self Consciousness.” A person makes decisions based on societal norms.

iv. Stage four. “Keep the status quo.” A person has become more mindful of societal rules and regulations.

v. Stage five. “Personal empowerment and social contracts.” People view laws as social contracts that need to be met when the greater good of the people is not met.

vi. Stage six. “Do the right thing, precisely because it is the right thing.” A person acts because it is right, not because it is expected, lawful or previously agreed upon.

f. Ethical Models and Tests. Psychologists have come up with various ethical models and tests.

i. The Mary Guy Model

1. Consider the well being of others

2. Think as a member of a community

3. Obey, but do not depend solely on the law

4. Ask “What sort of person would do such a thing?”

5. Respect the customs of others, but not at the expense of your own

ii. The Sunlight Test

1. Would you be happy if others acted this way towards you

2. Would you be prepared to have your behavior reported in the news

3. Would others approve of your actions

iii. The Newspaper Test

1. How would this look on the front page of a newspaper

2. Would you be comfortable defending your actions on 60 Minutes?

iv. The Test of Time. How will this behavior be viewed in five years, ten years or twenty years?

v. Other questions

1. Is it legal?

2. Is it right?

3. Is it fair?

4. How will I feel about myself?

5. Is this a special situation?

g. If you filter your judgments, you will be able to sleep well at night. The following will help guide you in life:

1. Respect individualism

2. Do no harm

3. Benefit others

4. Be just

5. Be faithful

II. Making the Grade in Your Educational Life

Having strategies to build strong study habits will lessen the stress around midterms and final exams. It will help overcome test anxiety improve your chance at academic success.

a. Learning How to Learn. If you understand how to learn, you will retain more material.

i. Bloom’s Taxonomy. Benjamin S. Bloom developed his taxonomy of learning, which involved three domains, each with several levels.

1. Cognitive Domain. The way you deal with knowledge and events intellectually.

a. Remembering it

b. Understanding it

c. Applying it

d. Analyzing it

e. Evaluating it

f. Creating new knowledge with it

2. Affective Domain. The way you deal with knowledge and events emotionally.

a. Receiving it

b. Responding to it

c. Valuing it

d. Organizing and conceptualizing it

e. Characterizing it by value or value concept

3. Psychomotor Domain. The way you deal with knowledge and events physically.

a. Imitating it

b. Manipulating it

c. Refining it

d. Articulating it

e. Naturalizing it

ii. Learning Styles. People learn in different ways. Pinpointing how you learn can help make your studying more efficient.

1. Visual. Images are the best way to convey information.

2. Aural. Sounds and music help you remember things.

3. Verbal. Spoken and written works help you lock information.

4. Physical. Movement stimulates your learning abilities.

5. Logical. Analyzing information logically cements new knowledge for you.

6. Social. You like to learn in groups.

7. Solitary. You like to learn on your own.

iii. Adult Learners. Adults who go to college years after graduating high school are often ore self motivated because of their more substantial life experience and responsibilities. These learners, regardless of their reason for returning to school, should participate in class discussions, as they have a different viewpoint to share.

iv. Learning Disabilities and Multisensory Teaching and Learning.

1. Learning disability= a neurologically based processing problem that can interfere with basic processing skills, such as reading, writing, math, and/or higher level skills, such as organization, time planning, and abstract reasoning.

2. Multisensory teaching may help students with learning disabilities, because it engages the 3 senses.

a. Gather information about a task

b. Link information to idea you already know and understand

c. Perceive the logic involved in solving problems

d. Learn problem solving steps

e. Tap into nonverbal reasoning skills

f. Understand relationships between concepts

g. Learn information and store it for later recall.

v. Overlearning. Overlearn the test information so you feel more confident on testing day. Overlearning also increases how much information a person can retain.

vi. SQ3R. Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

1. Survey. Survey the chapter before you start reading.

2. Question. Think of questions while you read.

3. Read. As you read, be alert to the material that answers your questions.

4. Recite. After you read, summarize the section, aloud, in your own words.

5. Review. Review what you’ve read every day until the exam.

a. Day 1. Write questions next to the terms you’ve highlighted.

b. Day 2. Skim the chapter and your notes.

c. Day 3, 4 and 5. Test your knowledge of the material.

d. The weekend. Use your notes to create a table of contents about the material.

e. Until the exam. Go over your study sheet so you don’t forget the material.

vii. Memory and Your Body. Your memory functions when you take care of your body. Sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.

b. What is Test Anxiety? It is a real physical condition that many students experience.

i. Symptoms include:

1. Sweating

2. Shallow breathing

3. Dizziness

4. Rapid heart beat

5. Nausea

6. Racing thoughts, a blank feeling or inability to recall information

c. Some anxiety can be linked to previous negative experiences or a fear of failure. Sometimes professional help is necessary, but here are a few tips to help maintain physical and mental health when suffering from test anxiety.

i. Keep a realistic perspective

ii. Practice deep breathing

iii. Progressive muscle relaxation

Proper preparation is the best way to alleviate test anxiety. Study beforehand instead of cramming. Being prepared will also lessen the temptation to cheat and compromise your values. These following strategies can keep you confident in your success.

1. Stay up-to-date on class information

2. Make sure you understand information as you go along

3. Read and study information in meaningful chunks

4. Break study times into manageable time segments

5. Use mnemonic techniques

6. Practice healthy habits (eating and sleep)

It’s also important to have a routine for every test you take. Suggestions include the following:

1. Read all directions first

2. Preview the test to get the big picture

3. Complete the parts that are easiest for you first

4. Find out if you are penalized for incorrect responses, but not for ignored questions

5. Make sure writing is legible, organized and supported

6. Leave time to check over answers

Making good grades is important due to competition in the workforce. It is important to leave college with a variety of knowledge and ask yourself “Did you learn how to do the job you set out to do?”

III. Making the Grade in Your Professional Life

Test taking days are not over and will show up in your career through continuing education requirements, training and evaluations to performance reviews. You will also encounter situations that test your ethics, values and integrity.

a. Why Would I Need Continuing Education? Most career fields require continuing education to ensure the professional stays on top of changing technologies, techniques and compliance issues. It is important to ask your employer if the company is willing to pay for the education.

b. Why Would I Need On-the-Job Training If I Already Have a Degree? This process is for the employee to have company-specific or product-specific knowledge needed to function within the organization.

c. How Do Performance Reviews Work? Performance reviews are the way employers measure productivity, attitudes and accomplishments. You can expect at least one review each year. Much of the review will be subjective while other parts of it will deal with facts like sales numbers and service calls. You might be asked to evaluate your own performance. Here are a few tips on preparing for a review.

i. Become familiar with the review process. Find out about the review in your particular company and what things are covered.

ii. Prepare for your upcoming review. Document achievements and anything you want to discuss.

iii. What should you do if you get a poor review? Sleep on it and make a decision when you are not emotional. Then go over the review objectively.

iv. What should you take away from a performance review? Think of your review as a learning opportunity.

d. Ethics on the Job. Most employers look for a high standard of ethics. Personal accountability is the highest measure of ethics because it doesn’t deal with the issue of getting caught. This doesn’t mean that everyone in your work place will have good ethics. Below are some tips if you are harassed at work.

i. Speak up.

ii. Escalate the issue

iii. Make a formal complaint.

iv. Seek independent counsel.

Bringing It Together

Personal accountability teaches that the burden of success of failure is primarily on you. Planning ahead, having a strategy, knowing what you stand for will help you face any challenge that lies ahead.