Small amounts of stress can help students perform better, test-related stress becomes an issue when the anxiety impedes them from doing well.
Test Anxiety is characterized by extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations, to the point where it affects academic performance. Physical symptoms include sweating, shaking, dry mouth or nausea. Cognitive symptoms are avoidance of testing situations and emotional symptoms include feeling hopeless, depressed or having low self-esteem.
Here are some ways you can help your child combat test-taking nerves.
1) Mindset Shift
Oftentimes, test anxiety comes from the fear of failing, or having a perfectionist mindset. Studies show that students with extremely high expectations for themselves tend to have highest levels of test anxiety.
You can help your child by enabling them to accept the worst case scenario. Accepting the thought of failure has been proven to help students overcome test anxiety because it allows them to apply their skills from a place of comfort.
2) Paced Preparation
Help your child by creating as many opportunities as possible for them to practice the material in different learning environments.
It is important to study well in advance, by creating a test-preparation schedule. By doing so, your child can be well-versed with the material, and will feel more confident going into the exam.
3) Simulate Test-Taking
Immersing your child in the test-taking experience in advance can help them create a more positive association with it. Prepare for a test by writing a practice test within the same timeframe without any notes or aid.
This not only helps to learn the material, but also allows them to acclimate to an exam setting. The more practice your child has writing mock tests, the less anxious they will be for the real test.