Posts Tagged ‘studying for midterms’

Helping Kids With Test Anxiety

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Today I’m happy to welcome Kate Willson as a guest blogger. Kate writes on the topic of best online colleges.  She welcomes your comments via email at and also here on the blog. Thanks, Kate!

It’s time for midterm tests, and many kids across the nation are panicking. Taking tests can be stressful for anyone, but they can also cause anxiety so great that your child may end up doing more poorly on exams — not from lack of studying, but from too much worrying.

Test anxiety, however, is easily avoidable because it’s often rooted in poor time management. Going into a test with confidence is the most effective way to do well, and this confidence only comes from studying well before the exam is scheduled.

If your child chronically suffers from test anxiety, here are a few tips for beating the stress before it starts.

1. Sit with your child and map out a plan. Kids are often poor planners, so they may need your help with this one. Sit down with your child and make a list of all upcoming tests a month or two before they’re set to begin. Figure out which classes are your child’s weak spots and dedicate more time to studying for those.

2. Explain to your child that studying a little bit every day is more effective than cramming. Every day, after homework and other chores and obligations are completed, make sure your kid is spending time reviewing every subject, with a greater emphasis on the more difficult classes. Study in order of importance. The easier, more enjoyable classes are better left till later, when your child’s attention and energy are waning.

3. As tests approach, make short study guides. Many teachers give students a pretty precise indication of what, exactly, will be on each test. Based on the information the teacher provides, work with your child to collect notes, homework assignments, and other class materials, and condense the information into a quick study guide that your kid can review a few days before the test.

4. Take it easy. Even if your kid is fully prepared for her tests, some children just get more stressed out than others. If your child is prone to this kind of stress, make sure she engages in relaxing activities around test time to unwind. Encourage her to take effective breaks doing things she enjoys. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep the day before any test, and is also eating healthy and avoiding sweets and caffeine, which further contribute to anxiety.

Above all, reassure your child that as long as she gives it her all, it’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t do as well as she wanted to. Doing her best is what counts.