How to Help with Test Anxiety - Student Resources

How to Help with Test Anxiety

a student's hand filling in bubbles on a scantron

It’s Wednesday morning and your child has a big test at school today. Even before getting to school, you may notice that your child is experiencing a stomachache, sweaty palms, or even a headache. These are just some of the tell-tale signs that they are suffering from test anxiety. When students experience this type of anxiety it can affect their ability to concentrate and perform to their full capability when taking a test. 

a student holding her head as a sign of Test Anxiety

As a parent, it’s so important to be aware of these signs and help ease their anxiety before it’s too late. We want to empower our children and give them the confidence needed to succeed in school. We put together these easy tips to help ease test anxiety. 

1. Set up a distraction free space for studying

Designate an area in your home for your child to study in. This space should be free of distractions to help maintain their focus. Toys and the television should be put away or turned off.

2. Establish a routine to prepare for big test

Cramming the night before a test is never the right answer! By studying and completing homework each night, the daily practice will help boost your child’s confidence in the subject and lead to mastery. Also, marking test days on the calendar together can help you both see how much time is needed to prepare.

3. Don’t underestimate a good nights sleep

When your child is well-rested, they will be able to take on any challenge the next day. According to the Sleep Foundation, children who don’t get enough sleep can have a difficult time learning. It’s recommended that kids between ages six through thirteen get nine to eleven hours of sleep each night.  

4. The morning of a test make sure they eat a healthy breakfast

Not only on test days, but every morning should start off with a healthy breakfast to fuel your child’s brain. Sugary breakfasts can often make you groggy or even hyper – which is not ideal before a test. Think of foods that are rich in protein and vitamins such as oatmeal, omelets, or avocado toast. Here are some quick and easy recipes your kids will be sure to love! 

a student studying at home with multiple books open

5. Support and motivate

Praise is a great way to motivate and empower students, and meaningful feedback can play an important role in the development of children. Praise children who can discover and learn from their mistakes. Kumon Students develop their self-learning skills and will be able to identify their mistakes and learn from them. Motivate your child by showing them a job well done doesn’t necessarily mean earning 100% on the first try.

6. Don’t forget to review the graded test after they’ve received it

First, start with the positive and show them what they got right or did well on. Next, review the mistakes and see if there’s something that they keep struggling with. You will be able to see if they are having trouble with the whole subject, certain types of questions (i.e. multiple choice vs. open-ended), or a specific concept like fractions or multiplication. Knowing what your child is struggling with on tests will help you practice and study efficiently to improve their test scores.

Easing test anxiety can take time, but with these tips, patience, and positivity, your child will gain the confidence needed to take on any test at school.