9 Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is common in both children and adults. It's important to teach young children how to prepare themselves for the tests they take so that their anxiety reduces over time. This allows them to be better prepared for the test and less worried about the outcome. Positive habits that are taught in the lower grades will follow them through the rest of their lives, allowing them to face stressful situations with grace and composure.


Here are a few tips to help your child overcome test anxiety:

Effective Study Habits

Encourage your child to go over the test material in their spare time before they have to think about taking the test. This eliminates the frustration caused by cramming the night before.

Eliminate Negativity

Eliminate negative and encourage positive thinking. On the morning of a test, make their favorite breakfast and create a positive atmosphere. Encourage your child to focus on the positive. Replace “I can't” with “I can!”

Also Read: Concentration Building Tips for Preschoolers

Put the Test in Perspective

A test is only a small portion of your child's grade. Make sure they understand that, while it's important to get the best grade possible, they will have other chances to improve their grades. While tests are important, they are only a measure of what your child has learned. Encourage your child to look at the test as a way of letting them know what they need to focus on during class.

Teach Behavioral Relaxation Techniques

Children can do a lot to relax themselves prior to taking a test. Breathing techniques and having a set of routine in place will allow them to relax and focus more efficiently.

Create a Testing Routine

Create a testing routine that includes a checklist of the things they might need (scratch paper, pencil, ruler, etc.) and something they enjoy doing to help them relax. Start the morning of the test with a good breakfast and a positive reassurance to do their very best.

Eliminate Nervousness

If your child is nervous in answering the test questions, find out what is triggering their anxiety- whether it’s a difficult question, they are struggling with time management, or anything else. Once you have identified the problem, you can work with your kids to resolve it.

Help Them Practice

Make sure that your kid is sufficiently prepared for the test.  Encourage them to participate in online tests to help familiarize them with the test format and the different types of questions asked.

Some Other Tips to Keep Your Kids Stress Free

Provide Useful Test-Taking Tips

  • Kids often have little experience taking tests, so providing these test-taking tips will help them relax and be prepared.
  • Arrive early to get familiar with your test environment and relax
  • Always answer the easiest questions first and return to the difficult ones later
  • Carefully read all answer choices before choosing the correct one
  • If you are not penalized for incorrect answers, make sure to answer all questions. Otherwise, only answer the questions you completely know.
  • If you feel anxious during the test, sit back and take 4 to 5 deep breaths to help calm yourself and get back on track

Keep Them Stress-Free

Keep your kids comfortable and ready for the test by:

  • Avoiding excessive screen time
  • Sticking to their usual bedtime
  • Providing a protein-rich breakfast
  • Laughing or singing to keep them comfortable
  • Giving your child a big hug and encouraging words

On the Day of the Test (For Kids)

Always answer the easiest questions first and return to the difficult ones later.

  • For MCQs, carefully read all the choices before choosing the correct one.
  • If you are not being penalized for incorrect answers, make sure to answer all the questions. Otherwise, answer only the ones you are certain about. 
  • Don’t panic if you can’t remember the answers. Just sit back and take a few deep breaths. You can surely remember what you have studied. 

Reducing test anxiety in young children is important so that they don't continue to feed into it as they age.


Dorothy Hastings

Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three Preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child's social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.

This entry was posted in Child Learning and tagged Child Carechild development tips

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