Stress and Performance

Jeremy Jamieson at Harvard had some students who were prepping for the graduate admissions test read a statement telling them not to worry that feeling anxious will make them do poorly, because research suggests that stress doesn’t hurt performance on tests and can actually help. The students who read the statement scored about 50 points higher on the math section of the practice test than those who didn’t. Plus the students who had been told to interpret the stress positively also did better on the actual GRE, scoring 65 points higher. So in the stressful situations, you want to focus on being excited and challenged rather than worrying that your stress means it’s not going well.

Ashley Merryman
quoted in Wired Magazine