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How to Help Students Overcome Examinations Anxiety

If there is something that teachers, parents, and students cannot and should not ignore is examinations anxiety. This kind of stress has been there since time immemorial. A research study published in the Psychologist revealed that students with higher levels of examination anxiety obtain lower grades compared to their less anxious counterparts. Unfortunately, examination anxiety is so impactful that it has hindered incredible performance even among the brightest students. As such, parents, teachers, and other vital stakeholders must move in with speed to help students prevail over examinations anxiety.

Is It Possible for Students to Overcome Test Anxiety?

Indeed it is, as long as we can give the issue the attention it deserves. Also, we need to realize that students cannot get the better of examination overnight. It is a fight that will go on for some time, but possible to overcome. Note that there isn’t a standard way of handling this situation. The participants may have to apply several strategies to get rid of this monster.

Is Examination Anxiety Completely Bad?

It is worth noting that some level of anxiety is both natural and helpful. A little anxiety can help students stay motivated. It can go a long way in improving the attention and other cognitive abilities of the students. With this in mind, the best thing we can do is help students maintain healthy levels of examination anxiety.

Practical Tips for Getting Control of Examinations Anxiety

If you are in the process of helping your students/child overcome test anxiety, you may want to consider the tips below.

  1. Encourage students to get rid of perfectionism. Let them know that it is okay to enter the exam room without having read all they needed to know. Only on rare occasions does someone score 100%. Make them aware of the fact that they will experience some emotional difficulty when trying to overcome perfectionism, yet they must keep trying. Remind the students of the importance of focusing on the most critical concepts. They should learn these concepts so well that they can teach them. Doing this will help them remember some of the details that they might not be able to remember during the exam.
  2. Keep reminding the students to put things into perspective. Let them know that while the examination is essential, their entire life doesn’t depend on it. Besides, some of the most successful professionals have had serious academic struggles. Put the point across without unconsciously discouraging the students to put their best foot forward.
  3. Caffeine is known to heighten the level of anxiety. As such, encourage students to stay clear of caffeine on the examination day. While at it, tell them the benefits of having a good sleep, several nights before the test. Getting enough sleep helps to reduce anxiety to healthy levels. Besides, when they are sober, they can think clearly.
  4. Also, make sure that they get into the examination room a little bit earlier. Discourage the students from having too much talk with each other, especially about the exam. The objective is to prevent one student from transferring higher levels of anxiety to other students.
  5. While perfectionism can hurt their calmness, positivism can help them overcome anxiety. Talk to students about setting realistic expectations. Let them know that the set of questions they have in mind may or may not appear in the examination. Nevertheless, they shouldn’t allow negativity to creep in and ruin their concentration during the exam. One of the things they can do when pessimism shows its ugly head is to remember past successes.
  6. Encourage self-talk. During self-talk moments (even in the examination room), students should remind themselves that they studied adequately, did the best they could, and as such, sure to do well in the paper. Breathing in and out should accompany the self-talk sessions.
  7. Finally, supply your students with practice tests. Exposure to numerous tests will help them learn to deal with anxiety and eventually overcome it.

Whatever you do, let your students know that examinations do not define them. They do not determine if a student is the brightest in class. Inform them that their performance on exams is mainly dependent on their effectiveness while reading for the test, the quality of their past education as well as the exam-taking strategies they employ.

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