Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Stress Lowers Students' Exam Performance

BBC - Pre-exam stress makes it more difficult for candidates to solve complex problems, a US report suggests. Researchers at Ohio State University looked at 19 first year students' performances two days before and a week after a classroom test. They found the ability to deal with complex, open-ended questions improved markedly as stress subsided. However, the students did better at simpler tasks, such as memorising numbers, while under more pressure.

During acute stress the body releases a compound called norepinephrine. Also known as "fight or flight" compound, it allows people to react quickly to an immediate threat. Previous studies have shown it improves some types of mental activity, such as short-term memory. But David Beversdorf, co-author of the report, said: "Even though norepinephrine may help a student recall memorized facts, it could hinder his ability to think flexibly."


Post a Comment

<< Home