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. 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.
There are many different things that can lead to the onset of test anxiety. Lacking in the areas of preparation and organization are both common culprits. 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 up to the day of the test. You should encourage your students to keep any and all notes and other materials organized in a folder or binder. Assisting them in creating their very own organized “study space” can be very helpful. 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 further (before or after school). 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. 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. 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!”
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