When Tests Bring Stress: Give Your Children the Tools to Tame Exam Anxiety
Exams can be scary for anyone, but they can be particularly stressful for children. If your child has an exam coming up, watch out for signs of stress and anxiety. Being a little bit nervous about a test is not a bad thing, but being too stressed is not going to help.
If you notice that they are suffering, here are a few things that you can do to help reduce the stress and keep them calm and relaxed so that they can perform to their full potential.
Encourage Them to Do as Well as They Can
You want your children to do as well as they can, but they must also know that you are always going to be proud of them as long as they do their best. Not every child will get top marks, and you need to let them know that it is important to do as well as they can, which means working as hard as they can towards the exam. But also make sure they know that if they don’t do as well as they want, it’s not the end of the world.
Make Sure They Take Regular Breaks
Revision for an exam is more effective when you take regular breaks and study in short bursts. Anxiety increases when you study for long periods of time and become tired. Looking at a huge pile of notes is worse than when you break it up into manageable tasks.
Your child will also take in more information rather than feel like they have been studying for hours without learning anything. There are some more tips on helping to relieve exam anxiety at the Mayo Clinic, so take a look through these.
Do Practice Tests So They Know what to Expect
One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to provide your child with the best preparation possible. If they go into the test knowing what to expect, they will feel far more confident and relaxed, and one way to do this is to provide them with practice exams.
Many practice tests are available online. For example, you can provide them with a NNAT practice test if they are sitting this exam. Do a few of these and there will be no nasty surprises for them. Doing practice exams is one of the most effective ways to get ready for a real exam and to get used to the types of questions that will be asked.
Help Them to Control Their Schedule
Anxiety comes from feeling tired and exhausted. You can help to reduce this through helping your child to eat and sleep well. Make sure they are eating a healthy diet rather than snacking on junk food, and ensure they are going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up early.
Be There for Your Child
Overall, and most importantly, make sure you are there for your child at exam time. Tell them about your own experiences, be a support for them when they are worried, and make sure they get regular breaks. Don’t put too much pressure on them, but ensure they are doing everything possible to do themselves justice, and make sure test anxiety does not get the better of them.
Allan Graham has worked in education for over 20 years. He believes that all kids have the potential to be great, and blogs for many parenting blogs to share his tips and thoughts in encouraging the next generation to flourish both academically and personally.