Test day anxiety can cripple students and cause lower than capable test scores. At a time in America where test scores tend to carry a lot of weight, we are on a mission to do what we can to help raise good testers, which in turn will help create a higher level of education.
Our question banks help teachers all over the nation ease their own test day anxiety by helping create cohesive study materials and exams, but how can we help students who suffer from test anxiety score high and be successful?
There are the tried and true techniques of getting enough sleep, good meals, being prepared, etc. Those are all wonderful ways to get your body ready for the test… but what can educators do to help address the mental battle that can often rear it’s ugly head no matter how many of those tricks a student may have implemented.
Here are some helpful tricks to fighting back against the monster that is self-doubt and anxiety.
Identify the why.
There are countless reasons a person might have test day anxiety. If you can’t identify your student’s hesitations and fears that are driving the anxiety, you may be suggesting strategies that don’t quite solve the problem, in turn overwhelming a student that is already overwhelmed.
We suggest having some good, private discussion with the student(s) that might be suffering and address what their fears might be. They are getting a lot of pressure from home to get good scores, or they feel like they do not have the right materials or time to prepare adequately, or previous scores may have them feeling like they are not capable of better results. Whatever the fear might be, once you identify it, it is easier to address.
Test drive some techniques.
It’s no secret that all brains function differently. Just like not all students suffering with test anxiety have the same reasons for their overactive fight or flight. Finding preparation techniques that work for each child and the way their brain works is critical to their best success.
Take to Pinterest, or your peers, and come up with different test studying approaches for different minded people and set up stations during class time that use several different methods. Rotate stations every 25 minutes or so. Be sure to include some solo approaches as well as group methods. Let the students then decide which ones work best for them and ask them to implement that method at home when preparing for their upcoming test.
Make sure they have the materials they need.
Perhaps a very willing student does not have the materials they need at home to create their preferred method of study. A quick survey at the end of your test prep stations could answer both questions regarding which method(s) were favored by your students, as well as what materials they need for that method and if they have those things at home or a way to get them.
For instance, if your student does not have index cards at home, it seems that would be an easy remedy to make sure they are able to best prepare for their test.
Help them understand fight or flight.
There are some great resources out there for people who are suffering with anxiety. Often times, especially with younger children, if you are able to explain in an age appropriate way, the overdose of fight or flight that is happening in their body when test anxiety begins to creep in, they are able to begin an internal rationalization that will help them calm down and level out.
Build them up.
Lastly, begin a couple weeks before the test to intentionally build their confidence and let them know that if they put the effort in, they can let the cards fall where they may. Find reasons to acknowledge their strengths leading up to a big test, even if that strength does not directly correlate to test taking. Making sure a child feels valued and secure will go a long way when they feel an anxiety attack coming on.
Our question banks help you help them.
If you have taken the time to prepare materials in advance that help your students study the test material, you will have that much more brain space to begin to create systems that support your students, even the nervous ones, when it comes to test day by implementing some new test preparation strategies.
We’re here to help make your job easier, so you can make their job easier.