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Sian Leah Beilock's TED Talk, Why We Choke Under Pressure- and How to Avoid It, looks at something we have probably all experienced. Maybe it was a big test, a job interview, a sporting event where we thought we were ready but choked under the pressure. Beilock pulls from her own personal experiences and shares how her research in cognitive science is finding ways for us to avoid this dreadful experience. Her team refers to it as "paralysis by analysis" and she offers great techniques to help all of us when in a high pressure situation. This talk is one to use with students before AP testing as a reminder of how to prepare. I have shared her techniques with my AP students in the past. This could also be used when teaching about stress or in a Life Skills course since this is something we will all face at some point in our life. This could also be beneficial in a Gifted and Talented course.
My worksheet contains 20 questions and an answer key has been provided for your convenience. Her talk is a little over 15 minutes in length but I would allow for 25-30 minutes of class time for this activity. There is question before and after the test for students to answer. Plus, you might want time to debrief and discuss afterwards.
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