If your teen is like many American teens, test anxiety is a serious source of stress in their life. Whether it is a school-based test or a standardized test, they can wreak havoc on the minds of our kids. As a parent (and not their teacher) what can you do to help kids manage the reality of text anxiety?
Here are three important things you can do to ease the pressure of testing in your kids.
#1: Understand the Test Format
For many kids, the unknown aspects of test-taking are the most intimidating. They may be the best student in their class, but if they fear the unknown, tests can cause anxiety. This is why helping your child understand the format of tests (especially standardized tests) can be a huge help.
There are many online resources that you can capitalize on to help your teen understand how the test will be delivered and how questions will be formatted. Let’s face it, a multiple-choice test and an open-ended paragraph are not the same.
#2: Brainstorm potential questions
Again, not knowing what to expect is probably a big part of what is causing your teen stress. Another tactic that parents find useful is to brainstorm the kinds of questions likely to appear on the test. You can ask your childs teacher for a sample test, look online for sample test questions for standardized tests or purchase a prep textbook for college prep tests.
Work through some of the questions with your child. Talk about best answers but also talk through the process you use to make decisions.
#3: Create a test “plan”
To help your teen feel truly ready to tackle their test day anxiety, creating a plan of action can help them feel secure. This will help them throughout the test-taking process but also give them a sense of control over the test-taking experience. Plan things like:
- How long to spend on each question
- What process to use to arrive at the best response
- A mental checklist to employ for certain types of questions
- Once you choose a response, stick to it
While you can’t be there to help your teen when it comes time to take their test but you can help them take some important steps to prepare for test day.