Test anxiety is a real thing that many children experience. Most adults can remember having feelings of anxiety related to taking tests, but it is hard to remember just exactly how daunting test days can be. Some children pretend to be sick on test days, or they might actually feel ill due to test-induced anxiety. Regardless of the level of anxiety your child has, tutoring can help prepare them for test taking and reduce the test related anxiety.
Ask a tutor for an exam preparation tutoring session
On the one hand, tutoring sessions can be used for additional instruction time where the tutor helps explain the material in a way that the student can understand. Tutors can also use the tutoring session to help the student practice the skills they are learning to prepare for tests at school. When students have a clear grasp of the subject material and have adequate practice before the day of the test, their stress levels during a test will be greatly decreased. Knowing the material will also give your child the confidence they need to perform their best on a test.
Use regular tutoring sessions to develop study skills
Your child’s tutor will help your child develop effective study skills. Here are some basic study skills that you can ask your child’s tutor to include during tutoring sessions that will help your child prepare for a test.
1. Start studying the material many days in advance. If your child has multiple tutoring sessions during the week this time can be used to study the material in advance so that your child gets the material stored away in their long-term memory so they can easily access it on test day. If you only have one tutoring session a week your child’s tutor can help set up a study schedule for your child to follow each day leading up to the test.
2. Tutors can prepare practice tests for your child to take during the tutoring session to get used to test taking. This will help your child learn to work at a proper pace while experiencing the pressure of a time limit. This may not be enjoyable for your child, but the more they practice, the easier the actual test will seem.
3. Relaxation while studying will remind them to relax while taking the test. Ask your child’s tutor to help your child relax by doing deep breathing exercises. This relaxation technique can be used in any type of stressful situation, even into adulthood.
Tutors help develop test taking strategies
Your child’s tutor can be instrumental in preparing your child for a test. They can give your child some tips on how to approach the test. Here are some helpful test taking strategies tutors can utilize with a student for exam preparation:
1. Your child’s tutor can remind them to look over the test to see how many questions are on it, so they will know how to spend the proper amount of time on each section.
2. Your child’s tutor can also encourage them to read each question carefully and to follow all the directions on the test. Going too quickly can cause your child to make careless mistakes that could be avoided.
3. Tutors can suggest skipping over a difficult question and coming back to it at the end of the test. Dwelling on the difficult question will only increase anxiety and affect the way they take the rest of the test.
Reviewing the graded test during the next tutoring session:
Your child’s tutor can review the test with your child to show them the things that they did well, as well as the areas that need more practice. Your child’s tutor can use the test to evaluate your child’s progress and to show your child what they need to work on more during tutoring sessions. If the teacher has written any notes on the test it is important for your child to read these notes so they know how they did and what they can do the next time they take a test. It is important for your child to see that the purpose of taking tests is not just to receive a grade mark but it is to see what they’ve learned.
How can parents help reduce test anxiety?
Parents can help reduce test anxiety by encouraging their children to study and practice for a test, but should be careful not to put too much focus on tests. Talking about a test too much can cause your child to have more anxiety. Cook your child’s favorite meal on test day and a yummy, nutritious breakfast. Help your child get to bed on time the day before a test so they are well rested and able to function on test day.
With this type of support from parents and tutors your child can reduce their test anxiety, which will help them perform better on their tests and be able to cope with stressful situations in the future.