Helping Kids with Test Anxiety

Two things are for sure in the world of public education: chaos on full moon days and standardized tests. These assessments can be really anxiety-inducing for some of our students! They’re long, they can be high-stakes, and there’s a lot of build-up and pressure surrounding them. If you’re looking to run a group or a series of classroom guidance lessons, follow these steps to help kids with test anxiety and remember they aren’t defined by the test!

No time to read the whole article? TL;DR – To help kids deal with test anxiety, give them insight on what the test looks like and how it works, review night before and morning of prep strategies, review test-taking tips, teach calming strategies, work on catching and reframing worries, and work on positive self talk. Get test anxiety group counseling curriculum here.

Help Kids with Test Anxiety

Remove the Mystery

Some of the worries that come with the test are a result of the mystery surrounding it. Remove the mystery for your students by:

  • Do a test tour. Access a review or tour on the testing website to show students how to use the test, how to select and save answers, how to move on, etc.
  • Review a variety of practice questions so students know the format they can expect
  • Visit the testing environment or show students a picture of what the room will look like (take a photo one year, use it the next year)

Things I Can Control

While we can’t control much about the actual test, there are definitely things we can control to help ourselves feel prepared! Help students develop a plan for:

  • Things they will do to get organized the night before the test (packing their lunch ahead of time, packing their backpacks, laying our clothes)
  • A calming activity they will do the night before the test
  • Going to bed on time
  • Getting up on time
  • How they will get to school and when they will arrive
  • A healthy breakfast they can ask to have or plan to get to school on time for breakfast
  • Something they will say to themselves before the test
Looking for ways to help kids with test anxiety? Try these strategies in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling sessions! Test Prep plan for students preparing for test day success. Deal with test anxiety.

Teach Calming Strategies

Practice calming strategies students can use before and during the test that don’t require any extra materials! Practice:

Teach Kids to Catch, Check, Change

Teach kids to recognize those worry thoughts and how they are affected by them! Check those thoughts and then change them to more realistic and positive thoughts. Check worries with questions like:

  • Is this a fact?
  • Do I have any other evidence?
  • What about last time?
  • How is this different?
  • What feeling is this thought giving me?

Teach Positive Self Talk

Build up that positive self talk! Practice it over and over and over again before the test so it comes more easily and naturally on test day.

Looking for ways to help kids with test anxiety? Try these strategies in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling sessions! Positive self talk for test anxiety. Test prep self talk strategies for testing anxiety group counseling activities!

Looking for more ways to kids with test anxiety?

This group counseling curriculum has everything you need to help your students before the big test:

Test Anxiety Group Counseling Curriculum

Looking for ways to help kids with test anxiety? Try these strategies in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling sessions! Learn Positive self talk for test anxiety. Learn Test prep self talk strategies for testing anxiety group counseling activities! Practice test prep strategies, test taking skills, calming strategies and coping skills for test anxiety, positive self talk for test anxiety in your test anxiety classroom guidance lessons or test anxiety group counseling activities. - counselor keri
Looking for ways to help kids with test anxiety? Learn Positive self talk for test anxiety. Learn Test prep self talk strategies for testing anxiety group counseling activities! Practice test prep strategies, test taking skills, calming strategies and coping skills for test anxiety, positive self talk for test anxiety in your test anxiety classroom guidance lessons or test anxiety group counseling activities. - counselor keri

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