Test anxiety (Exam Anxiety) is a universal phenomenon. Students of all grades and all levels feel anxious to some extent right before an arriving exam. With its roots in fear of failure and performance pressure, test anxiety is a natural human response but for some, it can become crippling. That is when your child’s mind goes blank in the exam hall, her heart starts to race, and perspiration appears all over even when her hands and feet of rock cold. An anxious brain cannot function normally. It will not recall any information that she studied. And thus, the momentary lapse due to exam anxiety becomes her reason for failure and the worst nightmares come true.
Text/Exam Anxiety Tips
To help your child to avoid such an outcome in her next exam, here are a few ways to overcome test anxiety. Coach your kids through these and see them perform up to full potential. You can also read Strategies for Reducing Exam Stress.
1. Sleep well before exams
Probably the most important parameter among all the effective test anxiety tips for high school students. Sleep tends to take a rain check right before exams. Consequently, the mind becomes tired due to sleep deprivation. A tired mind readily goes into anxiety, triggered by the smallest of reasons, and your child loses control easily. So, make sleep the priority in your house, both before and during the exams.
2. Compete with oneself
Fear of failure and performance pressure come from comparisons. When your child feels the need to outperform her peers or meet a certain societal expectation, she automatically goes into anxiety. Teach your child that instead of comparing her potential against someone else, she must always compete with herself. Try to be a better version of herself rather than running the rat’s race.
3. Plan the worst outcome
The most effective way of exam anxiety management is to face one’s fears. Sit with your child to think about the future where her worst expectations have come true and plan remedies to fix the situations. This will send a signal to her mind telling it that she now has a contingency strategy ready and will seldom feel anxious about things going wrong.
4. Breathe and meditate
One of the common symptoms of anxiety is racing thoughts and no amount of test anxiety medication can help your child with that. It is natural for the human mind to think randomly. But under anxiety, the flow becomes uncontrollable. The best way to bring back focus is to coach your child to concentrate on her breathing and take the help of guided meditation. These will calm the mind down and restore normalcy.
5. Talk positively to your child
Your child’s mind might tell her that she is a failure but you can trump that feeling by speaking back with “You can do this”. Such test anxiety tips for children come directly from child psychologists who teach parents and students to train their minds to be more confident. Even during anxiety, tell her to talk to herself by telling her mind that it is just having test anxiety and this is not the end of the world. Immediately, the anxious feeling will start receding.