By Lori Lite
It’s normal for kids and teens to feel a little nervous before a big test, but anxiety left unchecked can affect grades. Finals, a quiz or full blown standardized test can evoke feelings of stress, fear, and even panic. All students eventually face an SAT, ACT, ITBS, CRCT,CTBS, or CAT. Even home schoolers face the PASS test. Studies have shown that students that practice relaxation achieve higher test scores. Empowering techniques of deep breathing, visualizing, and positive statements are easy to implement. Preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, college…. It is never too soon or too late to ease test taking anxiety with the following techniques.
- Doesn’t want to go to school, especially on test day
- Cries or has melt-downs during the days leading up to a test
- Changes eating and sleeping patterns in the days before a test
- Puts herself down or calls himself “stupid”
- Has an upset stomach or a tension headache before a test
- Performs well on practice tests but not on the real test
A powerful stress buster for test taking is positive self-talk. Anxiety can be lowered and confidence boosted with this simple technique. The following statements can be used before and during tests.
When angry or stressed, I take deep slow breaths
I am calm, focused, and smart
I am relaxed and alert
I calmly trust my knowledge
I know the answer to this question and I will look at it again in a few minutes
I am smart and relaxed
I am doing the best I can do, and my best is terrific
I remember to breathe deeply during my tests
Breathing deeply brings more oxygen to my brain
I have enough time
I have studied and I am prepared
Being calm helps me to remember more
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook .