Stop Stress From  Affecting Test Performance

17-beat-test-stressOur children are now being tested more than ever before. In schools we have gone from testing children on curricular material to teaching test taking strategies for NCLB tests that determine school funding based on arbitrary performance evaluation. Much of our children's academic lives are dominated by one test after another.

It is no surprise to learn that this has caused our children to feel some performance anxiety. In fact, most children feel some level of test related stress or anxiety when they are faced with yet another test. As parents, however, we cannot abandon our children to the stress they are feeling. Without our help, our children will lack the tools to successfully navigate the situation and stress will cripple their academic life.

Instead, we must step up to the plate and reduce the anxiety where we can by teaching our children to cope with test pressure.

The Effects of Stress

Stress is a physiological response that is tied into our fight or flight mechanisms. A child under stress therefore, is much less likely to be capable of performing well. Stress can cause the brain to get out of sync and have to work harder to process information and achieve results. It can also make your child more vulnerable to illnesses and other negative effects. You can strengthen your child's body against stress response however:

* Make sure that your child is getting a proper night's rest and a full eight hours or more of sleep every day.

* Make sure that your child regularly displays healthy eating habits.

* Make sure that your child gets the right amount of exercise.

All of these things should help your child to fight off the negative effects of stress.

Coping with Test Anxiety

The best way to cope with your child's test anxiety is to teach them to be well prepared for tests and to focus on the positive. The first will give them the skills to navigate the test questions themselves while the second will have a powerful effect on the mind's response to stress. Begin by making sure that your child is regularly studying and doing their homework. It is important that you be sure that they are not having any trouble understanding their work long before a test looms on the horizon.

When a test does come up, make sure they have studied for it long before cramming becomes necessary. Then, on the night before, have your child put the books down and focus on something fun and relaxing instead.

As for teaching your child to focus on the positive, many studies show that negative thoughts can generate a type of feedback loop that hinders forward movement and thought. Positive thoughts and attitudes can actually generate positive outcomes however. Teach your child to interrupt negative thoughts about their test performance with more positive ones.

Finally, help your child understand that you value their academic performance as a whole and that one small test does not really mean much in the grand scheme of things.

You might also find the following helpful:

School Lunch Ideas

Parent's Survival Guide to Puberty

Bullying in Schools

Overcoming Shyness

Teens That Sleep All Day

Main Dishes and More

Main Dishes and More

Start saving time and money in your kitchen with these easy family-friendly recipes, packed with flavor.

Easy Recipes

Dinner Ideas

Chicken Recipes

Crock Pot Recipes

Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast Casseroles

Make a mouthwatering breakfast recipe or an easy, delicious breakfast casserole to turn any day into a special day.


Soup, Salads and Sides

Soup, Salads and Sides These great soups and side dishes go with everything from elegant holiday meals to a weeknight pot roast.

Soup Recipes

Side Dishes

Salad Recipes

Healthy Dinner Choices

Healthy Dinner Recipes


Healthy Dinner Recipes

Healthy doesn't mean bland with these delicious homemade dinner recipes.

Begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle for your whole family tonight.


Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Get a delicious dessert for every occasion.

Pie recipes, cookies, cakes, fudge, cheesecake recipes and Mama Shirley's favorites all make wonderful happy endings.

Kids Recipes

Kids Recipes


Kids Recipes

Our Kids Recipes are easy to make and fun for kids of all ages. They're perfect for teaching beginning cooking and kitchen skills.


Pot Luck Casserole Recipes

Casserole Recipes

Casserole possibilites are endless, making it even easier to prep a hearty dinner with ingredients you have on hand. Try some of our family classics for easy one-dish dinners.

Casserole Recipes

Stock Your Freezer

Freezer Recipes

We’ve all been there before, it’s getting late in the afternoon and you’ve realized there isn’t anything for dinner. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s where this section will come in handy for you.

Freezer Cooking Recipes




Names for Boys

Baby Boy Names

Choose the perfect name for your bundle of boy with help from our lists of thousands of boys names.

Boys Names

Names for Girls

Baby Girl Names

Find a beautiful name for your new daughter with easy to use lists of names and name meanings for girls.

Girls Names

Quotes for Life

Quotes About Life

The right quote at the right time can make you feel like there is a kindred spirit in this world that thinks like you do.

Some quotes have no other purpose than to make you laugh...something we could all use more of. Get inspired or reassured, visit the quotes pages often.

Quotes to Live By


These are the big lists for reference, all things vocabulary, reading and writing. 

List of Verbs

List of Pronouns

List of Prepositions

List of Nouns

List of Adverbs

List Of Adjectives


Bread Pudding Recipe

Bread Pudding

Cinnamon and vanilla infuse this custard-like dessert that starts with simple ingredients, but tastes like pure luxury.

Warm Spiced Bread Pudding Recipe

Easy Dinner Ideas

Easy Dinner Recipes

Try a variety of 30 minute meals, they're complete homemade dinners from kitchen to table in a half hour.

Quick and Easy 30 Minute Meals


Custom Search