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Testing Anxiety

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Nearly everyone has felt nervous during a test. Anxiety is normal anytime we are being judged. Clearly, the best remedy for test anxiety is feeling well prepared. This involves all the different Thinking Organized strategies: material organization, time management, learning styles, memorization, note-taking and written language. Preparing for tests and exams is an important and weighty matter, and will be the focus of the May 2011 Thinking Organized Tip.

However, some students, no matter how well prepared, suffer from such a degree of anxiety during testing that their performance is adversely affected. Here are some suggestions that parents can encourage their children to try during a stressful test:

  • Being well prepared is the best remedy for nervousness. Studying well ahead of time will help your child feel certain that the information is secure in memory.
  • Change positions to help relax. Even a shoulder shrug or a different seating position may help relieve tense muscles.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Help your student remember to acknowledge that she is doing her best, which is all that is asked of her.
  • Remind her that some anxiety is normal. It’s just a reminder that she wants to score well. A reasonable amount of nervousness can be a good thing – it can provide extra energy and help students focus on the task at hand.
  • Don’t panic when other students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for being the first done.

All of the Thinking Organized strategies take time and practice. Learning to beat test anxiety is no different. Although test apprehension will not go away overnight, facing and dealing with these anxieties ahead of time will help your child learn valuable stress management techniques that will be beneficial far beyond her school days.

Remember to check our May 2011 Monthly Tip for more test preparation ideas and let us know if you have any anxiety-busters that might work for other students.

smortoTesting Anxiety
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