What to Do When Tests Give Your Student Anxiety

back to school anxiety

For some children and teenagers, a return to school means grappling with test anxiety.

Test anxiety is a form of performance anxiety, and it’s common in kids and teens. Even 25% to 40% of college students report having test anxiety.

What causes it? A feeling of lack of control and academic pressure surrounding tests and assignments.

Test Anxiety Symptoms 

Test anxiety can affect kids in both physical and mental ways, such as: 

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  • Stomachache
  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Frustration
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping

This combination of physical and emotional reactions can interfere with a student’s ability to perform well on tests — which can contribute to more anxiety in the future!

How to Reduce Test Anxiety

Fortunately, there are ways to help your child or teenager reduce anxiety around tests.

Before test day

computerDedicate a comfortable study space in your home for the student to use

clockAllow enough time for study to help your child retain information

Z'sHelp your child get a good night’s sleep before a test

On test day

appleProvide a healthy breakfast

water bottleEncourage your child to keep hydrated

thumbs upSlip a note of encouragement into their backpack or lunchbox

If your child could use more support with test anxiety, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is here to help. You can also talk to your pediatrician about finding a therapist or contact your insurance provider for a list of therapists in your network.

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions presented in this blog post do not reflect the ideas and opinions of Memorial Healthcare System.