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6 Ways to Support your Teen on Test Day

Test Anxiety Strategies for Your Adolescent

By Cassie Gerr, MA Intern

We all experience a little anxiety before a test. Sometimes a little worrying can actually help us perform well and study our best. If the intensity of worry your child is experiencing impacts your child’s performance on tests, it may be time to try strategies for overcoming and coping with test anxiety. Symptoms of test anxiety can include difficulty concentrating, negative thinking, “blanking out”, anger, guilt, shame, racing heart, and excessive sweating. (Mometrix Test Preparation, 2022).

Some or all of these symptoms may occur because tests are stressful for adolescents. This is nothing to be ashamed of and is a sign that the test-taker cares. Test anxiety affects both your body and your mind, often due to the pressure to perform well. No one wants to fail, and many students report they are not good at taking tests. Often improving the experience of test taking starts with acknowledging the underlying reasons for the worry. There are also strategies for adolescents that deal with test anxiety to lower fear and pressure they you can feel more in control:

  1. Prepare early: rather than waiting until the last minute, encourage your child to study in small amounts for one or two weeks leading up to the test. This will help them feel less stressed because they are gaining knowledge in small amounts (Hoffses,2018).

  2. Keep a positive attitude: Remind your child that this test does not define them! Keeping a positive attitude and lifting their self-worth can do a lot in the long run for taking a test (Hoffses,2018).

  3. Get