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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Guide to Overcoming Test Anxiety for Teens

Most high school students take high-stakes tests during the spring months. The tests range from state academic assessments to college entrance examinations. Teenagers taking high-stakes tests can become extremely frustrated. Test anxiety affects many teenagers causing them to blank out, lose focus and have unnecessarily high levels of stress.

Below are 16 tips specifically for teenagers to overcome test anxiety:

The night before the test:
1.       Cut back on your after school activities.

2.       Be sure you get eight hours of sleep. Studies show that getting at least eight hours of sleep makes an enormous difference on the ability to focus and concentrate the following day.

3.       Check your alarm and give yourself plenty of time to wake up, dress and prepare for the morning. The last thing you need is a rushed, hectic morning before walking into a test.

4.       Before you fall asleep, repeat this positive affirmation, “I am confident in my ability to take tomorrow’s test. I feel relaxed and look forward to the test. I cannot wait to get to school, because I know I will do well on the exam!”

The morning of the test:
5.       Eat a nutritious breakfast. Be sure you include plenty of protein and carbohydrates with no sugary cereals.

6.       Arrive at school early. The last thing you need is to arrive at school late.

Before the test starts:
7.       Repeat your affirmations, stay relaxed and confident.

8.       Stand on one foot. Standing on one foot will cause your mind to refocus.

9.       Take deep breaths and repeat, “Breathing in I calm myself. Breathing out I smile.”

During the test:
10.   Read the directions completely and carefully. When you don’t read, follow or understand the directions mistakes happen.

11.   Read each question fully before answering.

12.   Watch your time and pace yourself.

13.   Answer the easy questions first. Answering the easy questions will give you the confidence to tackle the tough questions.

14.   Do not spend too much time on one question.

15.   Be sure to check all your answers.

After the test:
16.   Relax you did your best!

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