BE PREPARED:  How To Help Students OVERCOME Test Anxiety

Posted by Barron Whited on April 5, 2016
Over the next few weeks, many students will begin taking the PSSA’s (The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) and Keystone exams in our region to measure skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

Before taking theses exams, students may be feeling pressure regarding their performance. Parents may find themselves looking for ways to assist their children through these stressful times in school. Here are some tips for parents to help students with test anxiety:

Get Enough Sleep
It is vital for students to get enough sleep every night especially during the state testing season. This can help them focus better and stay alert while trying to answer each question. Students are less likely to make careless mistakes if they feel refreshed from a restful night of sleep. Parents can model by getting enough sleep themselves, which can encourage their children to do the same.

Eat_a-good-breakfast.jpgEat A Good Breakfast
Parents will want to make sure their children eat a good breakfast before testing. They don’t want to feed them too much because it may cause children to feel sluggish during the assessment. However, parents want to provide enough food so the students don’t feel hungry during the exams. If children feel hungry, it might cause them to focus on the feeling of starving instead of the questions. (Also ask if your children can bring a snack to testing!)

Wear Comfortable Clothes
Encourage children to wear comfortable clothes while taking these tests because it can make them feel at ease. It may help them if they take a sweater or coat in case the room is too cold. If the room is too warm, the can always remove layers of clothing. It might be a good idea to check the school’s dress code on proper attire.

Be Enthusiastic and Encouraging
It is important for parents to be enthusiastic every day that their children are taking the PSSA’s or Keystone tests. They can encourage students by saying: “do your best,” “we are so proud of you,” and “believe in yourself.” If kids hear these positive messages daily, they will begin to have a higher self-esteem about themselves and do better in school.
Take A Deep Breath
As students begin to take the exams, encourage them to take deep breathes before they enter the classroom to feel more relaxed and less nervous. It can help with concentration and making the best educated decision on each question. If students feel relaxed, it can prevent them from having a brain freeze on these important tests. Parents can encourage their students by giving them positive messages,instruct them to read the directions carefully and answer the questions to the best of their ability.

Good Luck on the PSSA’s and Keystones Exams! YOU CAN DO IT!