Test Anxiety


For some students, test-taking can be a painful ordeal. They may become overly anxious or fearful before and during an exam, which may actually affect their grades. To avoid anxiety, preparation will be key — both in knowing the material and in preparing physically and mentally.

The following tips may help your child better handle test-taking.

  • Make sure your children know what is expected of them before the exam.
  • Children should keep up with the material, instead of trying to learn it all the night before the test.
  • Have your children make flashcards, outlines and/or summary pages for key study points.
  • Make sure your children are taking good notes during class.
  • Tell your children to think positively. Don’t let them compare themselves to other students or think negatively   about themselves. These thinking patterns will only feed the anxiety.
  • Reward your children after a good study session.
  • Teach your children basic relaxation techniques for when they feel stressed (i.e. deep breathing, visualization).
  • Your children will need a good night’s sleep before the test, as well as a nutritious and filling breakfast the morning of the test.
  • Have your children explain the test material in their own words to make sure they fully understand it, rather than simply reciting the textbook.
  • Encourage your children to remember their relaxation techniques if they begin to feel stressed during the test, and to focus on the test itself, not their anxiety.

Sources: University of Florida, University of Texas

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