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How To Help Test Anxiety

Twenty Things You Can Do To Reduce Test Anxiety

How to help your child with test anxiety
  • Use good study techniques to gain mastery of the material that will be covered on the test. This mastery will help you approach the test with confidence rather than with excessive anxiety. Employ the studying tips we provide at Study Habits.
  • Maintain a positive attitude as you study. Think about doing well, not failing. Think of the test as an opportunity to show how much you have learned.
  • Go into the test well rested and well fed. Get enough sleep the night before the test. Eat a light and nutritious meal before the test. Stay away from junk foods.
  • Stay relaxed during the test. If you become tense, close your eyes, take a long, slow breath, and then let it out slowly.
  • Follow a plan for taking the test such as the DETER strategy we describe at A Strategy for Taking Tests. Don’t panic even if you find the test difficult. Stay with your plan!
  • Don’t feel that you have to get everything right. You can get a high score even if you miss some questions.
  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine before the test. Caffeine can make you jittery.
  • Don’t make more of the test than it’s worth. As important as a test might be, your entire future is not on the line.
  • Think about what is causing you to be anxious. Often the cause is not rational and you can come up with a rational counter-thought.
  • Think positive thoughts such as “I can do this” throughout the test.
  • Learn all you can about what to expect on the test so you will feel ready to take it on.
  • Communicating With Teenagers: Tips For Treating Test Anxiety In Teens

    Getting nervous is typical teenage behavior, but this condition goes well beyond merely feeling nervous. Before and during a test, a teen with test anxiety can suffer from brutal panic attacks, sweating, shaking, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and more. There are also emotional symptoms, like an intense fear of failure, obsessive thoughts about failing tests, low self-esteem, anger, shame or depression.

    Before parents dealing with teenagers can help them beat test anxiety, first they have to recognize it. Young people may be embarrassed to talk about it, while most teachers dont know how to recognize the symptoms. This leads to teens blaming themselves as their grades get worse and worse. Rather than learning how to understand teenagers and their emotional issues, many parents actually punish them for bad grades!

    Like other adolescent issues, theres no single correct solution for parents. Many parents choose to find a counselor or psychiatrist who treats teen anxiety. As part of ongoing therapy, some parents choose to try medications designed to ease teen anxiety.

    And, of course, prayer has helped so many parents and teens cope with issues like anxiety and depression.

    If you still dont know how to help your son or daughter, ask them. While communicating with teenagers isnt always easy, its the most important thing you can do right now to help text anxiety.

    Ask Your Child Whats Making Her Feel Anxious

    Talk with your child about her concerns and try to find out her specific worries. They may have to do with the particular subject area or the format of the test, for instance.

    Knowing whats making her anxious can help you talk about specific strategies or accommodations that might help. That alone may offer her some relief. As you talk, however, try not to let her anxiety make you anxious. If you can stay calm, that may help your child feel calmer.

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    Reading The Signs: What Anxiety Looks Like In Children

    Anxiety disorders reveal themselves in physical and psychological ways. How an anxiety disorder manifests depends on the age of the child and the type of anxiety disorder. Because anxiety can manifest through physical symptoms, its important to consult a pediatrician to make sure the behaviors and symptoms are anxiety-related and not due to an underlying medical condition.

    Some general symptoms:

    Types Of Anxiety Disorders In Children

    4 Tips to Help Your Kid Conquer Test Anxiety

    : Excessive worrying that something bad will happen if the child is not with their parents, caregiver, or anyone to whom they are attached. The child may be reluctant or refuse to stay at a relative or friends house, sleep alone or go to school. Many children experience separation anxiety between 18 months and three years old when it is normal to feel some anxiety when a parent leaves the room or goes out of sight. Usually, children can be distracted from these feelings. However, separation anxiety may surface or resurface when the child is older and especially between ages 7 and 9.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Chronic anxiety and excessive worry about everything and everyday life. A child with GAD worries about the meaning of a canceled play date or a delayed response to a text. Children with GAD fret about bad things happening to people they love or that no one will come to the birthday party they didnt want in the first place. The worry is overblown in relation to the events that sparked the worry. GAD is exhausting as children worry chronically and constantly and cant control these thoughts. In addition, children with GAD often dont trust their instincts and seek constant approval or reassurance from others.

    A panic attack usually lasts about 15-30 minutes whereas the resulting fear of another attack persists and that fear of panic returning is what triggers avoidance behavior to avoid another attack.

    Read Also: How Do I Know If I Have Separation Anxiety

    What Is Anxiety Test

    The Anxiety Test is a test that measures your anxiety level to see if its accurate for people like you. The idea behind this system, we hope many will use it so we can collect data on what exactly causes anxiety in most individuals and create some kind of representation as well. This means anyone could check their own levels quickly with just one click.

    Anxiety tests are valuable tools that can assist professionals in obtaining a more detailed picture of the persons problems, skills, and potential for change. Many individuals who take these tests discover unexpected truths about themselves that they had not previously known such as where their life areas could use some improvement.

    Focus On Calm Breathing And Positive Thoughts

    Deep breathing can slow down a beating heart or a racing mind, so practice these techniques at home. The very act of concentrating on breathing and thinking can biometrically alter those anxious feelings.

    Sometimes just remembering that some test-taking anxiety is a normal part of school can help make it easier to handle. If you need a confidence boost, try a session with an online tutor. From PhDs and Ivy Leaguers to doctors and teachers, our tutors are experts in their fields, and they know how to keep your anxiety at bay.

    Also Check: What Do You Take For Depression And Anxiety

    Test Anxiety Tips To Help Kids And Teens Cope With Test

    Are you raising a self-sufficient kid?

    Kids of all ages can experience test anxiety. Here are seven test anxiety tips to help your child cope with the unease of taking a timed test.

    Its a classic nightmare: youre sitting at your desk, about to take an exam, and it dawns on you that you completely forgot to study. Theres a reason this dream still rattles many of us long past our years in the classroom. Its rooted in an often anxiety-laden childhood rite of passage: the standardized test.

    Both of my children have taken standardized tests at their elementary school, and until recently, I hadnt noticed any problems around testing week. Then one afternoon earlier this year, my nine-year-old suddenly burst into tears in the middle of unpacking her school bag. Tomorrow is testing, she sobbed, and I know Im going to do horribly!

    Her worries felt frustratingly familiar. I was the definition of a nervous wreck during my schools testing days, managing to convince my mother on a few occasions that I was too sick to attend classes.

    My daughter and I arent alone. The American Test Anxieties Association estimates that roughly one-third of students experience either moderate or high test anxiety, or feelings of distress before or during an exam. These worries arent limited to older students taking high-stakes exams like the SAT or ACT some children in first and second grade are already showing evidence of test anxiety.

    Here Are Some Successful Strategies For Test Anxiety

    Test Day Tips – Tips to Reduce Test Anxiety

    We all experience some level of anxiety before a test. A little nervousness can actually help motivate us to perform our best. Too much anxiety can become a problem if it interferes with your performance on tests. Some strategies for dealing with test anxiety:

    Before the test, take good care of yourself:

    • Be prepared. Study the material in advance do not leave cramming for the day before your test. Do not do a last minute review.
    • Get plenty of sleep, it is hard to function at your best when overtired
    • Avoid any use of drugs and alcohol, they can interfere with your mental ability.
    • Exercise may increase your alertness and sharpen your mind.
    • Have a moderate breakfast, fresh fruits and vegetables help reduce stress avoid caffeine, sugar and junk foods.
    • Allow yourself plenty of time arrive at the test location early.
    • Choose a seat where you will not be easily distracted.
    • Use abdominal breathing to help reduce anxiety. Place one hand on your abdomen, right beneath your rib cage. Inhale through your nose and feel your abdomen fill like a balloon…count to three on your inhalation and then slowly exhale counting to four, feeling your abdomen contracting with the exhalation.
    • Do a reality check, how important is this exam in the grand scheme of things? Put it in perspective.
    • Use positive affirmations, say a phrase to help keep things in perspective, “I’ve done this before, I can do it again.” or “I have all the knowledge I need to get this done.”

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    Daily Tips For Reducing Test Anxiety

    To get your child ready well before test day, here are some things you can do regularly.

    1. Focus on the positive.

    Start noticing the many things your child is already doing well and tell them. Constant reminders about the consequences of a poor test score on their grades or success arent useful.

    2. Reinforce healthy habits.

    Encourage good nutrition and sleep habits on a daily basis. Dont reserve them for the day before a test.

    Eat The Right Breakfast

    You know breakfast is important but you also need to make sure its a healthy, filling meal. No sugary energy drinks or donuts, if you can help it! Try to eat something with fiber and protein to keep yourself full and focused during the entirety of the exam. Here are some easy, actually yummy suggestions:

    • Oatmeal with berries
    • Whole grain cereal

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    What Is Test Anxiety

    Test anxiety is a complex of emotions such as worry, dread, and fearalong with physical fight-or-flight symptomsthat some people experience before and during a test. Its a form of performance anxietywhen the pressure to succeed becomes so overwhelming that people are unable to concentrate and operate at 100%. Some degree of nervousness around test-taking is normal, but when symptoms cause panic attacks, hinder learning, or impair performance, its important to find ways to modulate this response.

    What Exactly Is Test Anxiety

    Test Anxiety: How to Help Your Child Cope

    Feeling a little jittery right before a test is completely normal in fact, some nerves can actually help you to focus and keep you motivated.

    But when those nerves become so out of control that you lose all concentration and your ability to test becomes hindered, its known as test anxiety. And it has been found to affect anywhere from 10% to 40% of all students at any given time.

    Test anxiety is a form of situational anxiety, distress caused by a certain setting or high-pressure event. And it can affect anyone, at any level of school from kindergarten to grad school.

    And it affects everyone in different ways.

    For some, their anxiety doesnt peak until the day of the test itself, while others feel their stress levels begin to rise in the days or even weeks before. Some even continue to feel distressed a few days after the test.

    In fact, some students have reported that they begin to feel the pressure starting as early on as the very first day of class.

    Test anxiety is downright frustrating after all, its discouraging when youve put in the time and work and still dont make the grade.

    But even worse, it can have real consequences for the students who experience it.

    Research has shown that those who experience test anxiety score 12% lower on average than those who dont.

    Restlessness Poor memory

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    Next Steps For Managing Test Anxiety

    Sometimes breathing techniques and mindfulness aren’t enough to dispel text anxiety. If anxiety gets in the way of your academic performance or significantly impacts your mental health, you might consider visiting your campus counseling center.

    College counselors specialize in helping students work through test-taking anxiety. You can also research test accommodations, including extra time or a quiet room in which to take your exam.

    Most college students experience test anxiety at some point in their academic careers. By acknowledging the stress of exams, applying the above tips and strategies, and reaching out for mental health support if needed, you can overcome test anxiety and achieve success.

    Immediately Before The Exam

    Get a good nights sleep the night before the exam. Your ability to think clearly and to deal with anxiety improve with sleep.

    Eat something to help with focus and attention. Bring water to stay hydrated.

    Avoid too much caffeine. If youve been hitting the caffeine hard to stay awake and study or to stay focused, know that it can also have a negative effect on your nerves.

    Gather all of the materials you need in advance, including a pencil, eraser, or calculator, so that you are not rushing around before the exam.

    Play calming or familiar music to help you relax.

    Arrive to the exam early enough to find a seat that will help, not hinder your focus. Bring ear plugs if you get distracted by noise.

    Dont let the exam define you. Remember that your self-worth and intelligence does not depend on your performance on this one exam.

    Give yourself a pep talk to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Actually telling yourself youre excited will help you see the exam more positively and experience more positive emotions.

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    Consider Therapy And Other Resources When Appropriate

    Therapy is a gift, says Igler. If you think that your child could benefit, even if you dont necessarily know how, start your search for a therapist sooner rather than later. Therapy for kids often involves the entire family. Contrary to popular opinion, its not just sitting on a couch and talking it can involve playing games and making up stories.

    Theres a silver lining for kids who struggle with test anxiety: research indicates that students who learn to better manage test anxiety may cope more effectively with other types of anxiety.

    Standardized tests may be inevitable, but with the development of coping skills and resilience, the anxiety surrounding them does not have to be.

    Gina Rich is a writer and mother of two daughters. She shares caffeinated ramblings about motherhood, grief and loss, and mental health on her blog at Love and Hope and Coffee. You can also find her on Instagram at lovehopeandcoffee.

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