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Help your Child Avoid Test Anxiety

school testing

The word test can cause a certain amount of stress in any student, no matter how well she is doing in school. Confidence and a positive attitude are key to overcoming it — and parents can help on both counts.

Consider sports. You take your child to practice, where she learns the rules of her game. You cheer for her to urge her toward success. When she does well, you celebrate. When she doesn’t, you encourage her to practice and try again.

You can help your child overcome test anxiety the same way. First, talk about what the school is expecting her to learn and be able to do. You can find this out by talking to her teacher. Ask the teacher how you can help build your child’s confidence — and what material you can review with her. Encourage your child every step along the way as she builds knowledge.

If you are preparing your child for state tests, ask his teacher how to help him understand what the tests will look like. Also, the teacher can explain how you can work with your child at home on the Ohio Department of Education’s student practice resources and practice tests.

It’s important to remember that Ohio’s State Tests are based on Ohio’s Learning Standards. These standards lay out what students should know and be able to do in each grade. Ohio teachers choose questions for state tests that match what their students are learning in their classrooms. This is your child’s opportunity to show what she has learned throughout the school year. Keeping this in mind, your child should go into test day with confidence.

Finally, put every test in its proper place. We should all try to do our best on a test, but we shouldn’t allow the test to terrify us. No single test — even at the end of a school year — can have lifelong consequences for your child. Explain to your child that she wants to do well to show herself what she has learned — not to keep something terrible from happening. Your school should support her in the same way.

Helping your child build confidence and putting tests in their proper perspective will ease the pressure on your child when test days roll around. It also will give her a better overall school experience.