Helping Students Overcome Test Anxiety
These days, standardized tests in education have become more important than ever. If your kid goes to a public school, their promotion to the next grade level will often be determined by important state tests. As a result, test anxiety has become a common issue for many children. Before a test, they start to worry and fear that they’ll poorly perform. Unfortunately, students who excessively worry about failing a test often actually fail it. Moreover, remaining anxious and stressed for a long time is detrimental to your child’s health.
You can try the following strategies to help your child overcome test anxiety:
Help Your Child Get Fully Prepared
Proper preparation for the test is one of the most useful methods to help your kid feel more confident about it. While your child’s teacher is preparing them for the test, you can try to help the kid do a little additional practice at home to boost their confidence. Thoroughly study the test’s format and help your kid practice sample questions. Having the kid complete entire practice tests is an effective method to become familiar with the content and structure. You should start with simpler questions to gradually develop your child’s confidence. Also, teach the kid test-taking strategies like utilizing the process of elimination, skipping difficult questions and trying them at the end if there’s time, and avoiding second-guessing after selecting an answer. Once your child feels prepared for the test, their anxieties will be eased.
Let Your Kid Write About Test Anxiety
Sian L. Beilock, who was a professor in the psychology department at the University of Chicago, carried out an experiment wherein she asked first-year high school students to write down their anxieties before appearing at their first final. She also asked them to associate those feelings with other times when they got similar feelings. It was revealed from many students’ writing that the test was not as fearful or difficult as they had thought at first. Students whose writing revealed high degrees of test anxiety gained additional six percentage points on their exam scores. They also experienced lower levels of anxiety and stress. So, ask your kid to talk or write about their test anxiety. Ask them what the worst-case scenario is and what they can do to avoid that? What other situations can possibly happen than the worst one?
Teach the Kid Calming Techniques
Your kid may still worry during the test, despite preparing for the test and releasing anxieties. So, teach the child calming strategies like mindfulness and breathing techniques to cope with this situation. For example, tell them to focus on one thing they can taste, two things they can smell, three things they can hear, four things they can touch, and five things they can see when feeling worried. Many children also carry objects to use as a stress ball to alleviate stress during the exam.
If you can successfully use strategies, they’ll help your kid reduce test anxiety and feel happier while improving their test scores.