If you are a parent that has been noticed low test scores in your child’s academic work, it may be time to learn how to help your child overcome test anxiety. This is especially true if you are certain that your child studied for the exam. In a typical school day, several students will experience at least a small bout of anxiety when it comes to testing to one degree or another. However, if this rolls over into general performance complications, it could be an indication that test anxiety is being experienced. In this educational how-to guide. Here are some strategies that can be used to successfully help your child overcome test anxiety.
There are many different things that can lead to the onset of test anxiety. Lacking in the area of preparation is often a major culprit. When a student is preparing for an exam, they should devote a certain amount of time each day to studying the material that the test will cover. Time management skills often play a large role when it comes to actually studying, and comprehending the material. If your child tends to procrastinate a little in this area, then attempts to absorb all the material in at once, it is quite likely that they will encounter anxiety when the actual test is put on their desk.
The next common culprit for test anxiety is lack of organization. You should encourage your students to keep any and all notes and other materials organized in a folder or binder. This way, while they are preparing for their test, they can easily reference material that has been covered and may pop up during the test. You should also assist them in creating their very own “study space” that is organized. This will allow them a dedicated location for reviewing and learning new material that may be covered during the tests that they are expected to take at school.
Many students are naturally prone to worrying and experiencing anxiety on various levels. They may experience these things due to lack of self-confidence, a low amount of motivation, pressure in the classroom and/or at home, or they may simply be afraid of performing to the extent in which they fail. This is all very common among students – especially in middle school and high school. If you uncover any of these issues, it is important to fully support your child to help them overcome the issues at hand. By doing this, you are also helping them overcome their test anxiety.
Now, many parents often wonder if their child is truly experiencing test anxiety, or if they simply are not putting enough effort into their work. In order to determine if anxiety is the case, you should work closely with the student’s teacher to identify potential indications of anxiety when they are taking a test. Common symptoms include sweating, developing gastrointestinal complications, appearing scared or nervous, developing a headache, complaining of nausea, vomiting, crying for no apparent reason, and others. If the teacher identifies these symptoms, then you will know that anxiety is definitely an issue.
If your student is having problems grasping certain material taught to them in school, let them know that you are available. It is also important to let them know that their teacher may be able to assist them. Many kids refrain from asking questions in class in front of other students for fear that they may become made fun of, or they may not fit in among their peers. Let your child know that by not asking questions for clarification, they are showing their weaknesses, and by asking questions, they are showing their strength.
You should instruct your child to practice relaxation and breathing exercises if they start to feel anxious during testing. These types of exercises will help the student relax and focus on the questions without going blank. If they seem to still have an issue with it, it may be best to inform the child to let their teacher know of the complications that they are having. In the end, there could be some sort of resolution met that will assist the child in experiencing lower levels of anxiety.
Last, but not least by any means, encourage positive self-talk to your child. When they start to feel as if they “can’t”, tell them to tell themselves that they “CAN!” Let them know that while fear is an important part to keeping us safe, that they do not have to fear a test. They simply need to be more positive and truly believe that they are able to do what they need to do to overcome test anxiety.