If your child struggles with test anxiety, then this is something you want to read! Taking a test, whether it’s a ten word spelling test or a fifty question math test, can be stressful. As parents, it is essential to emphasize to your child that putting forth their best effort is what matters most. If your child understands that you care more about their effort than the grade, they will instantly feel more relaxed.
While we want to reduce “bad” anxiety, there is healthy anxiety that we have for a reason. If your child slacks and does not open his books, then anxiety will propel him to study and prepare for his test. Encourage your child to prepare for his test. The more prepared your child is, the more comfortable he will feel when it’s time to take the test. If your child has a big test coming up, spend some time each night going over the spelling words with your child rather than wait til the night before the test.
This will ensure that your child really knows his stuff and it will make your child feel more confident when he is marching into his classroom on testing day! Exposure to any anxiety-provoking task is the key to conquering those worries. Instead of only doing a spelling test once a week in school, maybe make up practice spelling tests at home and treat it like a real test situation.
Teach your child to give himself a little pep talk before the test. Make sure your child erases any “I can’t” thoughts from his head and turns them into “I can!” Remind him of the Little Engine that Could (“I think I can…I think I can..”)