Acknowledge Her Feelings And Efforts
As a test approaches, dont ignore or dismiss any feelings that she shares. Instead, focus on what youre seeing. I know this unit was trickier than the last one. But youre putting in more study hours. Youll be better prepared than last time.
Also, praise your child when she makes an extra effort to study. I know youd rather be at the movies, but Im proud of you for staying home to go over your notes. Explain that no matter what the test result is, she did a good job getting ready.
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Help Her Feel Confident That Her Study Notes Are Accurate
Some teachers may be willing to provide a set of notes or review your childs class notes for accuracy. That may be especially true if the subject or task is related to your childs learning and thinking difference. Another option is for your child to meet with a trusted study buddy to compare notes.
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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
Tips To Overcome Test Anxiety
If youre a student , youve felt nervous before a big exam. A mild case of the nerves can actually be useful, giving you an adrenaline boost that will help you perform at your best. However, if your pre-test stress becomes so extreme that it impedes your performance, you are probably experiencing test anxiety. Read on to learn more about how to overcome test anxiety.
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Dos And Don’ts Of Dealing With Test Anxiety
Don’t cram for an exam. The amount you learn won’t be worth the stress.
Don’t think of yourself or the test in a negative sense.
Don’t stay up late studying the night before. You need the sleep. Begin studying a week in advance if possible.
Don’t spend time with classmates who generate stress for you on test day.
Don’t take those last few moments before the test for last minute cramming. Try to relax and spend that time reading the newspaper or some other distraction.
Do remind yourself that the test is only a test.
Do focus on integrating details into main ideas.
Do reward yourself after the test with food or a movie or some other treat.
Do something relaxing the last hour before the test.
Do tell yourself that you will do your best on the test, and that will be enough!
Part 4: Tips for test success
Why Some Kids Get Test Anxiety
There are a number of different reasons why some kids might be more susceptible to anxiety. Test anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with learning issues. Children who have ADHD or a learning disability are often already feeling anxious about school, and when its time to take a test that sense can be heightened. If I have ADHD and I am prone to inattention, if I start feeling anxious on top of that Im going to have a lot more difficulty, notes Dr. Schuster.
Likewise, when a student has a limited amount of time to take a test and knows that he processes things slowly, hes probably going to start feeling anxious.
Kids worried that they wont do well, for whatever reason, are prone to more anxiety. Kids with an anxious temperament who worry about making mistakes or performing in generalfrom singing in music class to going up to bat at baseballtend to feel more test anxiety. Kids who believe that they wont do as well in a particular subjectlike girls influenced by the stereotype that boys are better at mathmay also be more prone to test anxiety in that subject.
First Identify How Test Anxiety Affects Your Child
Are there physical symptoms, emotional, or both? If you know, for example, that your child always experiences stomachaches on test morning, you can plan to respond appropriately not by letting him or her stay home and in bed but by offering some anxiety-coping strategies. Similarly, if you tend to notice increased bouts of crying or moodiness during test week, you can respond by addressing test anxiety as the root cause.
Helpful Realistic Thinking Tips
Tip #1: Coping statements
Try coming up with statements that remind you how you can cope with a situation. For example:
“If I get anxious, I will try some calm breathing.”
“I just need to do my best.”
“People cannot tell when Im feeling anxious.”
“This has happened before and I know how to handle it.”
“My anxiety wont last forever.”
Top #2: Positive self-statements
Regularly practice being kind to yourself , rather than being overly self-critical. For example:
Instead of saying “I will fail,” say something like…
“I know I can do this.”
“Everyone experiences anxiety. I can handle this.”
“Im not a loser if I have trouble with a test. Lots of students struggle with tests.”
“Im strong enough to do this test. I will do my best.”
Tip #3: Alternative balanced statements based on challenging negative thoughts
Once you’ve looked at the evidence or recognized that you’ve fallen into a thinking trap, come up with a more balanced thought based on facts, not feelings. For example:
When you are facing a math test, a more balanced thought could be:
“There is a chance that I will not pass the math test tomorrow. But, not passing a math test does not mean I will fail the entire class. Even if I don’t pass the test, it doesn’t mean I will never graduate from high school. I have passed many school assignments and tests before.”
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Test Anxiety Tips To Help Kids And Teens Cope With Test
Do you do too much for your kids?
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.
What Is Text Anxiety What Causes Test Anxiety In Teens
A professional athlete at the peak of their game spends years training, which creates the muscle memory they need to perform under pressure. When LeBron James and Stephen Curry face off in the national championship, they dont have to think about things like dribbling or passing. Thanks to muscle memory, their bodies know exactly what to do.
But have you ever seen an athlete choke? Its a fascinating phenomenon. During moments of intense pressure, such as a championship game, athletes start thinking too hard about their performance. Suddenly, they arent relying on muscle memory, but instead thinking about every little move. Its called choking, and it can happen to the best athletes in the world.
Something similar can happen to teenagers when they sit down to take a test, especially big tests like the SAT or AP exams. Even if they spent weeks preparing, even if they know the course material backwards and forwards, even if theyve always been a straight-A student, suddenly they get inside their own head.
Sometimes test anxiety is related to other mental health diagnoses, like ADHD, anxiety and depression in teens. While young people with panic disorders may also suffer from extreme anxiety before the SAT test, some kids only have a panic response to tests.
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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.
Is This A Replacement For Driving Lessons
No. You still need to learn to drive properly and demonstrate that on the day of your test. This system is not a replacement for driving lessons, nor does it guarantee that youll pass.
This system is for people that have had lessons and can drive well but just cant get through the test because of nerves, anxiety or some other mind-related reason.
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Time Management: Planning Your Success
Plan Your Entire Semester or Course in Advance: Make sure you understand the ‘Big Picture’ for the semester or term and plan each course with this in mind. This involves mid-terms, major projects, papers, and final exam schedules. With the big picture in mind, tailor your weekly and daily schedule accordingly.
Daily Reviews: Conduct short reviews of lecture notes before and after class. Begin reviewing after your first day of class. Re-copy your lecture notes each evening as a study exercise. This is especially helpful in courses that require you to memorize. Look over examples done in class for courses like Math and Science. Daily review seems time consuming but really only take a few minutes each night. Small amounts each day will save you from huge study sessions later in the course.
Weekly Reviews: Dedicate at least one afternoon or entire evening during the weekend to review all of your courses. Make certain you have an understanding of where each course is going and that your study schedule is appropriate.
Periodic Tactical Reviews: On your calendar, schedule special reviews. The week before a mid-term or final exam should be blocked out for special tactical reviewa larger study session spread over a few days so you dont have to cram it all into the night before the test. If you have kept a good daily and weekly schedule, studying for a test or exam should only be reaffirming what you already know.
General study tips
Remind Them What Tests Are For
Unfortunately, modern society has built a huge wall of expectations around the test-taking process. Whether or not they realize it, your student may be absorbing all the stress. It is our job to do better. Teachers at The Tenney School are already working hard to create a healthy concept of test-taking, but you as the parent have the biggest impact on your young persons mind. Remind your student that their performance on a test does not define who they are.
Test scores do not determine their value. In fact, tests do not necessarily even represent how smart they are. Test-taking is simply one way to develop quick thinking skills, recall, and the ability to work under pressure. It also helps organizations categorize students strengths and weaknesses. While it might feel like doing well on a test would mean the world, your student needs to know that they are intelligent in their own unique way.
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Tips To Help Overcome Test Anxiety
There are several relatively simple things students can do to ease their test anxiety. Its important to remember, what works for one student might not work for another. Below is a list of suggestions and strategies that you can try before and during exams. Some are easy no-brainers others might be surprising. Try one, some or all of these to find out what works for you.
Be Mindful Of How You Discuss Standardized Testing
Schools often emphasize that students be well-rested and eat a good breakfast on test day. This advice, while sound, can signal the tests importance and increase performance anxiety.
To counter this effect during testing week, I now encourage my daughter to give her best effort but remind her that preparing for test day is no different than getting ready for a regular school day. Collier coaches her son to think about the test as a snapshot of how he is doing on that one day, rather than as a permanent measure of ability or potential. We talk about testing as just one part of our performance at school, she explains, with effort, honesty, and kindness being more important.
Talk with your child about the other ways he or she shows effort at school. Emphasize that the tests are a tool for teachers and schools in making the learning experience better for everyone.
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Listen To Their Concerns About Tests And About The Future
Many high school tests help determine what your child will do after graduation. These may be especially stressful for teens with learning and thinking differences who may feel unsure about their future.
Talk honestly with kids about what theyre feeling. Listen to their concerns. Try to be reassuring but realistic. We can help be sure youre prepared for this test. And however you do on it, dont be worried. There are so many options for you after high school, and well work with you to find the best ones.
Things To Keep In Mind At Bedtime
Rest and relaxation are critical for test day success. Ehrman suggests making them both a priority especially on the nights leading up to test day.
7. Kiss phones goodnight.
One hour before bed, dock and recharge phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices outside the bedroom.
8. Help kids relax and recharge.
Relaxation practices can help kids focus. Meditation, guided imagery and relaxing each part of the body can improve performance and bring a sense of calm. Schools are even teaching kids to meditate, with positive results!
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What Can You Do
Test anxiety can be a real problem if you’re so stressed out over a test that you can’t get past the nervousness to focus on the test questions and do your best work. Feeling ready to meet the challenge, though, can keep test anxiety at a manageable level.
Use a little stress to your advantage. Stress is your body’s warning mechanism it’s a signal that helps you prepare for something important that’s about to happen. So use it to your advantage. Instead of reacting to the stress by dreading, complaining, or fretting about the test with friends, take an active approach. Let stress remind you to study well in advance of a test. Chances are, you’ll keep your stress from spinning out of control. After all, nobody ever feels stressed out by thoughts that they might do well on a test.
Ask for help. Although a little test anxiety can be a good thing, an overdose of it is another story. If sitting for a test gets you so stressed out that your mind goes blank and causes you to miss answers that you know, then your level of test anxiety probably needs some attention. Your teacher, a school guidance counselor, or a tutor can be good people to talk to test anxiety gets to be too much to handle
Watch what you’re thinking. If expecting to do well on a test can help you relax, what about if you expect you won’t do well? Watch out for any negative messages you might be sending yourself about the test. They can contribute to your anxiety.
Symptoms Of Test Anxiety
Test anxiety symptoms can range from mild to severe. It is possible to have mild symptoms of test anxiety and still perform well on exams. Others can feel so overwhelmed that they encounter panic attacks before or during exams. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America describes symptoms of test anxiety as physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional.
Physical SymptomsPhysical symptoms can range from increased heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, to shaking, fainting, panic attacks, vomiting and nausea.
Cognitive and Behavioral SymptomsCognitive and behavioral symptoms can include negative self-talk and cognitive distortions that lead students to avoid studying or testing situations. Challenges with focus and concentration as well as racing thoughts or rumination can be common.
Emotional SymptomsEmotional symptoms can include low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, frustration, irritability, feeling overwhelmed and a sense of hopelessness.
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