A big stressor in many teens’ lives is taking tests. Since I live at a middle school, I hear teens claim they are bad test takers and they are going to fail ALL the time. If teens spend the morning worrying about failing a test, then the stress is going to be higher when that test is put in front of them. Even teens who do really well in school are not immune to test taking stress. They have the pressure to continue to perform at a high level, so even if they always do well, they still stress about missing the mark and disappointing someone.
While a certain level of stress is helpful to motivate your teen to put in the extra effort to study and prepare for the upcoming test, if it throws them into The Chronic Stress Loop then it is likely hindering their success. When your teen is stressed, there is less blood flow to the creative problem solving part of their brain, so they are literally making the test harder for themselves by stressing out about it. That’s why I am sharing two strategies to help your teen calm their stress, so that they can perform their best and experience more success.
In the Moment Strategy for Managing Stress About Taking Tests
If your teen repeats positive mantras, then when the test is put in front of them, they are calm and can more easily remember the information that they need to experience more success.
In and Out Mantras
As your teen walks between classes, encourage them to repeat their positive affirmation. It is helpful to say them in a rhythmic pattern as they step.
Left Foot: I
Right Foot: pre
Left Foot: pared
Right Foot: for
Left Foot: this
Right Foot: test
Left Foot: and
Right Foot: I
Left Foot: to
Right Foot: tal
Left Foot: ly
Right Foot: got
Left Foot: this
Creating Study Habits for Decreasing Stress Around Taking Tests
There are also numerous study habits that help teens succeed in school. I have had many teens tell me that they studied really hard by reading the material. While some students can retain information this way, the majority can not.
Confirming that your teen is utilizing good study practices will help reduce the stress around feeling prepared for a test.
While preparing well for tests and taming the pretest stress will help many teens experience more success, for some teens, it is just not enough. Taking tests throws them into the Chronic Stress Loop, and they need a bit more guidance and support to calm the stress. If this sounds like your teen, grab a copy of my FREE Stress Less Guide and learn my top five stress reducing strategies to help your teen be more ease on tests days and experience more success.
Originally published at www.claireketchum.com