Updated: Mar 2, 2022
At one time or another, we have all stated that we were anxious over an upcoming exam, but did you know that test anxiety is a very real thing? According to the American Test Anxiety Association, about 16-20% of students have test anxiety. With a greater increase in societal pressures, new studies are likely to show an increase in those numbers.
Identifying Students With Test Anxiety
How do you know if a child's poor test performance is related to test anxiety? Acknowledge poor test grades with an open mind. A child may not be testing poorly because they’re unwilling to study. Their testing might be rooted in their inability to face exams without becoming distressed. Parents and teachers can look for physical signs for test anxiety before asking the student directly. Sweating, nausea, negative self-talk, situational avoidance, and butterflies are among the most common tell-tale signs of test anxiety. There are also a number of emotional symptoms in connection with test anxiety such as distress, anger, and depression.
Identifying that a child has test anxiety is the first step in treating their condition.
Treating Test Anxiety
There are a number of ways to treat test anxiety. We’ve broken these solutions down further for both parents and instructors to recognize the role that they play in a child’s success.
As an educator, it has become increasingly hard to identify individual students’ needs with growing classroom sizes and plummeting funding. Regularly encourage parents to stay involved with their child’s educational needs. Parents can and should serve as a second set of eyes for their individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. There are ways to decrease test anxiety within the classroom that are beneficial for the group as a whole. Within the classroom, teachers can provide students with the tools to study such as study breaks, study games, group study opportunities, and one-on-one help for specific mentoring. While teachers cannot cure test anxiety, they can be an advocate for healing by identifying the students that need help.
One of the best ways to ease your child's test anxiety is to stay involved with their school needs. Being an active participant in your child's life ensures you're able to remind them about upcoming tests and help them study. Be stern about expectations while being encouraging of their ability to succeed. Establishing a school-home connection is critical. Educational researchers have proven time and time again that parental involvement positively impacts academic performance. Parental involvement should also be responsible for identifying treatment options for mental conditions such as anxiety. Clinical hypnotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for test anxiety that can be administered in person or online.
Decreasing Test Anxiety
Do you recognize any of these in your symptoms in your classroom, or in your own child? The best way to decrease test anxiety is to keep parents involved in their children’s lives and address our children’s mental health needs early on. Hypnosis is available for early intervention and has proven its ability to aid in decreasing test anxiety. Please reach out for a consultation. Therapy sessions are available individually as well as in group settings.