Helping Your Child Deal with Testing Anxiety & Standardized Tests

Helping Your Child Deal with Testing Anxiety & Standardized Tests
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Testing time is here! This is the time of year where students take standardized tests. The goal of the tests are to check for content mastery. Students are tested on what they have learned over the entire school year. Yes, this is in a lot of cases a high anxiety time for all involved especially the students. However I am here to tell you that it does not have to be. Here are four things to remember that will help you and your child get through the testing jitters.

Four Tips to Make it Through Testing Season

1. Your child has been preparing for these series of test all year. Please remind your child that they are knowledgeable and have nothing to fear. If they were breezing through a certain math class then they are sure to do fine on the test. The material covered by the test is grade level appropriate and comes directly from the curriculum. Therefore, have nothing to fear, because this information is familiar content.

2. Don’t be afraid to familiarize yourself with testing expectations, format and procedures. Schools will often host informational sessions about tests including how to prepare for testing. I encourage all my parents to attend those sessions. If those sessions are not provided then schedule a conference and speak to your child’s teacher. Questions you should ask about the test include:

  • What is the testing format?
  • What are the specific testing days?
  • What are the passing requirements?
  • What can I do to help my child be successful?

3. Discuss the test with your child before, during and after testing. Encourage dialogue with your child about his or her expectations, fears, or anxiety. Remind them to do their best, take their time, and follow directions. Reassure them that if they put their best forward, then they are sure to be successful.

4. Prioritize testing time: Ensure that your child gets enough rest and sleep and that they have had a healthy breakfast and a snack to take with them. Finally, be sure that your child arrives to school on time.

Standardized testing can cause some anxiety, but they key is preparation. Do you have any additional tips to share?