Does Your Child Struggle With Taking Tests?

 

Is your child frequently worried about grades and taking tests? Does he or she struggle to study for tests, either by procrastinating or getting anxious about the material? Maybe you have tried to help your child do homework and prepare for tests, but your assistance seems to do little to help in the moment or when it comes time to take the test. Your child might demonstrate a clear understanding of the material with you or in other parts of school, only to do poorly on quizzes, tests and exams. Perhaps you and your child’s teachers don’t understand what is going wrong, and your child says that his or her mind just “goes blank.” Do you wish you could find a way to help your child reach his or her full potential?

Watching your child struggle with test anxiety can be a frustrating, confusing and helpless experience. Perhaps your child appears to be doing well most days, but you watch him or her grow more and more worried and uncertain as test day approaches. He or she may start experiencing physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches, stomachaches or changes in sleeping or eating patterns. Your child might be caught in a loop of negative thoughts and fears, and you might worry that he or she is stuck in self-defeating patterns that you don’t know how to help break. Do you wish you could help your child develop confidence and more effective study skills, but feel lost?

Test Anxiety in Children Is Common

Almost everyone feels anxious or on-edge before a test, and your child is not abnormal or wrong for feeling some nervousness while studying and preparing. In fact, anxiety can sometimes help a child remember to study and work hard. However, if your child feels frozen or completely unable to perform well on tests, he or she might be struggling with more serious text anxiety. Test anxiety can make it difficult for children to get the grades they want, even if they pay attention in school, complete their homework and study.

Test anxiety in children is increasingly prevalent. Our modern society places a high value on achievement, and many children feel pressure from their teachers, peers and family members. Some schools publicly announce and reward children who do well on tests, which create an atmosphere of comparison and competition. This pressure to get good grades can wear on children and lead to increased test anxiety. Thankfully, there is a way to help your child find relief and excel academically.

Performance Coaching Can Help Your
Child Cope With Test Anxiety

With commitment and willingness to stick with it, you can help your child change his or her studying habits and learn new test-taking skills and strategies. One of our skilled test anxiety experts can offer support and guidance as your child begins to develop greater confidence and self-esteem. You and your child can gain a better understand of the test anxiety source and work together to overcome it.

Test anxiety in children affects the mind, emotions and body. It can be very difficult to perform well on a test when the body thinks it facing a threat. In sessions, your coach can teach your child relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and positive imagery. We will set up a room that resembles a testing environment so that your child can learn to cope with anxious feelings during sessions and develop the skills needed to feel more at ease.

Your performance coach can also help your child reduce his or her negative and self-defeating thoughts. Your child can begin to recognize the source of negative thoughts and catch and re-frame those thoughts before they become overwhelming. In sessions, we will identify your child’s strengths and nurture them.

In addition, your coach will help your child develop more effective studying skills. Your coach will work with you whole family so that you can provide a supportive, productive environment for your child when tests approach. We can help you feel better able to collaborate with your child’s school, advocating for longer test times, a different testing room or whatever else your child needs to feel calm.

Nervousness is completely normal, and it does not mean that your child isn’t smart or capable. With help, your child can develop strategies to achieve balance, calm and peace on test day. There is nothing wrong with getting a little extra help. In fact, by helping your child develop better studying and test taking skills now, you are preparing him or her for a productive and successful future.

You may believe that performance coaching can help your child work through test anxiety, but still have questions or concerns...

Test anxiety in children is a school issue. Why does my child need an outside specialist for this?

Anxiety affects the mind and body, but there is an important emotional component as well. Test anxiety is not your child’s fault, and he or she probably can’t fully understand or cope with it alone. In addition, this does not mean that we will ignore the academic issues your child is facing. Your test anxiety coach can help you navigate conversations with your child’s school so that you can advocate for the accommodations that your child needs to perform to his or her very best.

Coaching will take away from study time.

You and your child are likely already working hard to prepare for tests, only to find that the results are the same. Without changing his or her studying and test-taking patterns, you are unlikely to see improvement. Coaching for test anxiety in children can help you and your child develop new strategies and techniques so that he or she can experience lasting changes. The time you and your child dedicate to performance coaching will make the time he or she spends studying more efficient and effective.

If everyone feels nervous, why should my child go in for coaching?

While it’s true that uncomfortable feelings are very normal before a test, some children develop more severe test anxiety than others. This test anxiety, left alone, can become debilitating and eat away at your child’s self-esteem. With help, your child can rebuild his or her confidence and feel prepared to excel on tests.


Dr. Kelly Romirowsky is the founder and director of Philadelphia Assessment & Counseling, LLC. As founder, Dr. Romirowsky specializes in working with adults suffering from anxiety.  If you want to help your child manage anxiety and do well on tests, we invite you to call for a free, 15-minute phone consultation* with one of our performance coaches. We are happy to answer any questions you have about test anxiety in children and our practice.

*all new clients must complete a consultation before being seen for an appointment