Test anxiety is a real thing. It happens to everyone at some point in their life. Some people get anxious before tests because they worry about failing, while others get anxious because they worry about not doing well enough. Either way, test day jitters can cause problems for students.
Test day jitters can cause students to feel nervous, anxious, or even panicked during the test. Students often experience physical symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, sweating, and shortness of breath. Some students also report feeling dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded. These feelings can lead to poor concentration, making it harder to focus and remember information.
As a teacher, you won’t want your students to go through so much. Here are some helpful tips that you might implicate to help students overcome test day jitters.
Prepare Them Beforehand To Not Get Test Day Jitters
Students should study and prepare before taking an exam. Students need to feel confident about what they are going to face on the exam. They need to be prepared for the different types of questions asked in the exam. They need a clear idea of what they need to focus on while studying. They need to understand the format of the exam. They need time to relax and think about the topics covered in the course.
Make Them Aware Of What Test Anxiety Is
Test anxiety is a common thing that many students face when taking tests. Having a better understanding of why the student is experiencing test anxiety can be hugely helpful in managing it. Some students will feel anxious about taking tests because they fear failing, while others may experience test anxiety due to social anxiety or lack of confidence. Regardless, asking the student questions about his/her feelings can provide valuable clues as to how to best help them.
Remind Students They Are Not Defined By A Single Test
No single test will ever define a student’s academic career. No single test will have that much of an impact on the rest of their life. Being an adult, you may be able to understand this perspective better than your students because you’ve had more experiences with both failure and success. You also realize that both failure and success happen and that no matter what, life goes on.
Students should be reminded that tests are just tests and that no test defines them as smart, successful, or worthwhile. Reminding students that they are not defined by what happens in school will help reduce stress and increase focus. Students should also be encouraged to think about their own personal experiences with testing.
If students are feeling anxious because of an upcoming test, they might benefit from practicing mindfulness techniques. These techniques could include deep breathing exercises, meditation, or simply taking time to reflect on their thoughts and feelings before beginning a test.
Many students with test anxiety experience the real challenge when they sit down to take their tests. Deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and mantra meditation can all help reduce stress and increase focus. Students should also try to relax and stretch before taking their tests. If you have time, ask them about their strategies for dealing with test anxiety. You may even consider creating a full class practice of mindful breathing the day before the test and a brief relaxation/ grounding exercise just before.
Practice Tests To Avoid Test Day Jitters
Students need to feel confident when taking tests. Test anxiety can cause students to miss out on important information because they are worried about getting the answer wrong. Students should practice test-taking skills beforehand, including reading questions completely before answering, skipping over questions they don’t know, and checking their answers after each question.
Help Them Create Study Schedules
Helping your students create study schedules will help them stay organized and focused while studying. It is important to consider all aspects of your student’s life when planning their study strategy. Students will have different priorities, and you should not force them to study at times that are inconvenient for them. You should also consider what external pressures they face, such as family commitments, sports, childcare, and social activities. These may impact their ability to study effectively. Block out reasonable chunks of time throughout the week, taking into consideration other homework, extracurricular activities, and leisure time.
Help Them Focus On The Positives
Test anxiety is also the fear of not doing well on a test. And while it may seem like a natural reaction to a stressful situation, it’s actually an unhealthy response to stress. Teachers should help their students understand that they can succeed on any test, even if they aren’t feeling confident. To do this, you need to shift their perspective away from the negative thoughts and towards the positive ones. Helping them remember times when they performed well will give them confidence going forward.
Stress and anxiety can wreak chaos on your brain, making you forget what you need to remember and even affecting your physical health.
Assessment should be used as an opportunity to celebrate failures and build mastery through the method that failure can give more insight into what areas need to be worked on to prepare for a graded situation. Creating opportunities where failure doesn’t have a negative impact, like giving feedback, but instead, one that helps gain success and make students feel more ready.
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