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 How to Overcome Test Anxiety in Kids

Test anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed before or during a test. Symptoms include sweating, loss of concentration, "butterflies" in your stomach, or a tension headache. A student with really strong test anxiety may even feel like he or she might pass out or vomit

This anxiety can be a result of many things some of which are listed below:

  • Having a prior bad experience on a test like maybe blanking out

  • Feeling overwhelmed due to poor study habits and organizational skills.

  • Fear of failure

  • Lack of confidence

  • Personal pressure to do well

  • Unreasonable personal goals.

So what can be done to help control or alleviate this anxiety?  First and foremost is to ask for help.  Talk to your parents, teacher, or school guidance counselor.  Just talking to someone about test anxiety can make you feel better.   If you describe what happens to you when you're taking a test you will find that these people can help come up with a solution. It may be as simple as learning study skills to help improve your test-day confidence.  As a parent be on the lookout for stress anxiety and work with your child to implement the tips below.

Some tips to help eliminate test anxiety. 

Eliminate the unknown
To reduce stress it is important for you to find out as much as you can about the test before you take it.  You need to try and answer questions like:  Is it an essay test, quantitative, short answer or combination?  How many questions and what is the scoring technique?  Is the test on notes, book or both?   Are there lists of vocabulary words, maps, dates that are important?

Be prepared for the test
Pay attention in class, do all homework assignments, do all class work and implement good study skills.  You will find that if you know the material you will be much more confident taking the test.

Get good sleep
The day before a test it is important that you get good sleep, eat proper meals and spend some time unwinding.  It is necessary for you to go into the test with a clear mind.
Never cram or stay up all night it will result in your feeling tired, irritable, and distracted during the test.

Think positive and remove bad thoughts:  If you have prepared for the test to the best of your ability then you must put into your mind all good thoughts.  Remember that you are ready for the test and you will do a great job.  Never dwell on such things as “I’m not good at taking tests”.

Be forgiving: 
Remember that everyone makes mistakes so you must accept yours and learn from any mistakes that you make.

Use relaxation techniques:   
If your mind is blocked by tension during the test simply close your eyes and take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Concentrate on your breathing and then return to the test.

Pump up on tunes:
Start the day by listening to some feel good tunes.  Make sure the music is upbeat and be sure to sing along.  It should help to pump you up and keep you smiling all day.


Start the day with breakfast:
A breakfast of whole grain and fiber will help to fuel your body.