Tuesday, March 22, 2011

17 Easy Tips to Relieve Test Anxiety

by Jan Shoop

During the months of March and April students take high-stakes tests. These tests range from state academic assessments to ACT and SAT tests to college entrance examinations. Students taking tests can become extremely frustrated. Test anxiety effects many children and causes them to blank out, lose focus and have unnecessarily high levels of stress during the test. Much of the test anxiety is due to the importance we place on tests. Test anxiety is skyrocketing as more and more children feel pressure and anxiety to perform well.

How can you help your child feel positive about school and test successfully at the same time?

Below are 17 Easy Tips for Relieving Test Anxiety for You and Your Child:

For the Parent:

1. If possible, cut back on after school activities the night before a test.

2. Have a quiet family dinner. This is an opportune time to have everyone sit down at the table. The discussion should be relaxed and supportive.

3. Before falling asleep have your child repeat a positive affirmation. Say the affirmation with your child. An excellent example would be, “I am confident in my ability to take tomorrow’s test. I feel relaxed and look forward to the test. I cannot wait to get to school, because I know I will do well on the test!” Let your child know that you have confidence in them.

4. The night before the test double check your alarm. Give your kids plenty of time to wake up, dress and prepare for the morning. It is important to allow your child and family plenty of time. The last thing your child needs is a rushed, hectic morning before walking into a test.

5. Be sure your child gets eight hours of sleep. Studies show that getting at least eight hours of sleep makes an enormous difference on the ability to focus and concentrate the following day.

6. Prepare a nutritious breakfast. Be sure to include plenty of protein and carbohydrates with no sugary cereals. During breakfast keep the conversation positive; this is not the morning to have a serious discussion.

7. Arrive at school early. The last thing your child needs is to arrive at school late.

For the Child:

8. Repeat your affirmations and stay relaxed and confident.

9. Before going into the test, stand on one foot. Standing on one foot causes the mind to be pulled out of the “fight or flight” mode.

10. Take deep breaths and repeat, “Breathing in I calm myself. Breathing out I am confident.”

11. Read the directions completely and carefully. Many mistakes happen because the directions are not read entirely, followed or understood.

12. Read each question fully before answering.

13. Watch your time.

14. Answer the easy questions first. Answering the easy questions will give you the confidence to tackle the tough questions.

15. Do not spend too much time on one question.

16. Be sure you double check all your answers.

For Parents and Children:

17. After the test relax. You both did your best!