Nearly every student will encounter stress and anxiety at some point in their academic career. Teens generally take on the majority of testing anxiety because they are starting to think about college and career. AP classes, the SAT and ACT, as well as tests and exams in the classroom environment all lead to stress in a student’s life but there are ways to cope.
Much of testing anxiety comes from fear of the unknown. Of course, taking a test about a topic a student doesn’t know enough about will create a ton of stress. One of the best ways to cope with this is to be prepared. Student’s should look at their exam schedule for the term and set aside time to study well in advance of testing day. Students who struggle with getting started should seek support from a private tutor. Tutors are experts in organization and can help lower a student’s stress substantially.
Break up studying into parts
Covering test material all in one block just doesn’t work for everybody, in fact it can add to a student’s anxiety, especially if they are prone to exam stress. It’s much better to break up stressful tasks into smaller parts. Students can benefit from limiting test prep to smaller sessions, perhaps one to one and a half hour blocks. Alternatively, they can limit their studies to one topic or chapter at a time regardless of the time it takes. Each student is unique and will benefit from different study habits.
Focus on trouble areas
Student’s often procrastinate when it comes to learning tasks they dislike or subjects they don’t excel at naturally. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem on test day. Students who master a basic level of competency in tough subjects will generally lower their stress. Study groups and private tutoring are both great problem solvers in this matter.
Reinforce strong areas
Opposite to the above point, some students spend so much time on trouble areas that they forget to reinforce subject matter they excel in. Even if a student normally does well in a particular subject, they still need to review. This is an important aspect of test prep and can greatly reduce anxiety on test day.
Have a back-up plan
The best of intentions don’t always work out. Students may have a number of study sessions planned before their exams and end up needing to change their schedule for any number of reasons. Students who plan extra sessions or study time can reduce their stress and enjoy more academic success. Tutors help students stay accountable for their own success and are great at managing time during the whirlwind that is test prep season.