The number of kids who suffer from anxiety is staggering. While a little anxiety is normal, too much can be debilitating. One form that fits this bill is test anxiety. Something that according to the National Library of Medicine, 25 to 40 percent of American kids suffer from it. Couple test anxiety with being distracted, and it can be a recipe for test-taking disaster. This does not mean that kids who have anxiety cannot find ways to overcome it, however. In fact, with their parents' help, tools can be developed to prepare kids to pass tests when distraction and anxiety overcome them.
According to VeryWell Mind, there are several reasons why kids suffer from test anxiety. It could be a result of poor test results in the past, fear of failing or being completely unprepared for the test. When any of these are the case, kids cannot focus because they are preoccupied with their anxiety. And when things like sweating, shaking, rapid heartbeat, and nausea are the physical symptoms of anxiety, according to the publication, it is no wonder that test results can come back poorly when anxiety overcomes them.
Here are ways to prepare kids to pass tests when distraction and anxiety overcome them.
Think About What Questions May Be On The Test
If kids think about what has been covered in class, there likely are certain questions that have been covered several times. As such, that makes for a good jumping-off point when parents are helping kids study for an upcoming test.
According to HowToStudy.com, ways to determine what questions may be asked on a test include:
- Reviewing any questions teachers ask in class
- Reviewing notes taken from the board
- Reviewing anything the teacher repeated
- Reviewing any section of the book studied in class
- Review previous tests for clues about how questions are asked
- Paying close attention when teachers say something will be on the test
By having all of this information at hand, parents can help kids to be focused while studying for tests. And by reviewing the days before the test, levels of anxiety can be decreased at the same time. Setting the groundwork for a successful test to be taken.
Study The Main Points Covered In Class
Many times, there are main points and ideas covered in class. When this happens, it is a clear indicator that questions will come from these sections. Meaning special attention should be given to these areas to take a successful test.
According to TeensHealth, a great way to attack a large amount of information is through "chunking." This means that instead of taking on an entire chapter or subject at one time, breaking it down into more manageable bits will help information to be better retained.
As such, parents can help kids to study the information in smaller chunks which will help to keep them from getting distracted. It will also help them to retain the information, which can help with anxiety.
Ask The Type Of Test It Will Be
Sometimes, anxiety can be reduced when kids know what type of test they will be taking. Because of this, kids should take the opportunity to ask their teachers the type of questions that will be on the test so that they can practice at home.
Be it multiple choice, true or false, or word problems, knowing the types of questions that are on a test can help those who suffer anxiety tremendously. And once the types of questions are known, parents can present questions in that format to reduce the stress felt before taking a test.
Develop Strategy To Take Test
If there is a tough question at the beginning of a test, it can throw kids off for the remainder of the test. As such, having a strategy to attack the test can be helpful for those who get distracted or have test anxiety.
According to Big Life Journal, some strategies parents can teach their kids to take a test include:
- Answer easy questions first
- Cross off any answers that kids know are incorrect
- Read questions through before answering
- Answer all questions if not penalized for incorrect answers
- If penalized for wrong answers, only answer if there is an educated guess that can be made
By following these strategies, kids should be better equipped to take tests. And perhaps even deal with less anxiety at the same time.
Develop Calming Strategies
Before taking a test, kids should go through some calming techniques to get their brains and bodies ready to answer the questions given to them. This will not only help to reduce anxiety but to focus on the task at hand as well.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some calming strategies kids can use before taking a test include:
- Deep breathing
- Relaxing muscles one at a time
- Closing your eyes and imaging a positive test-taking experience
By practicing these techniques, kids will be able to get their heads in a place to focus and take their tests. Between this and the studying they have done, the experience should prove to be a positive one.