While preparing for major exams like PSLE, most students suffer from severe cases of test anxiety. In most cases, parents unintentionally add more stress to their children during these times. Understandably, mums and dads help their kids prepare for these types of tests but it sometimes adds more pressure on them.
Many people suffer from stress or anxiety before an exam; this is very common, especially among children and teens. While it is common to feel a little nervous before a test, it is likely for people with test anxiety to get blank out, freeze up, and zone out.
In this article, you’ll read:
- What Parents Should Know About Exam Stress
- Ways To Help Your Child Overcome Test Anxiety
Kids that suffer from test anxiety experience the opposite of how athletes feel during a competition. Athletes are taking advantage of high-pressure situations to perform better.
On the other hand, a child with test anxiety cannot function as efficiently as possible when under pressure. The anxiety they experience before an exam can shut them down. They cannot think clearly as their anxiety overpowers their ability to perform well during exams.
In Singapore, there is the PSLE or Primary School Leaving Examination—an annual national examination that candidates take at the end of their final year of primary school education. For Singaporean students, PSLE is one examination that typically gives them test anxiety.
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What Parents Should Know About Exam Stress
Test anxiety is a psychological condition in which a person could experience extreme distress and anxiety in testing situations. It is saddening that this condition among children could impair learning and negatively affect test performance.
There are various reasons why a child becomes more susceptible to test anxiety. Experts say that test anxiety often coexists with academic problems or learning issues. The common causes of test anxiety include the following:
- Poor testing history
- Fear of failure
- Poor study habits
- Underlying anxiety problem
Meanwhile, test anxiety is more common in children who are perfectionists. They possess the traits which typically make it hard for them to accept mistakes or to get anything less than a perfect score.
More commonly, unprepared kids are more likely to experience test anxiety. These are the kind of students who are not prepared but want to do well during the exam.
Ways To Help Your Child Overcome Test Anxiety
If you think that your children are experiencing test anxiety, you do not need to worry that much! As a parent, there are things that you can do to help the kids overcome their test anxiety.
Moreover, you can still help them prepare for major exams like PSLE without adding pressure. All you need to do is address their frustrations and try out the tips we compiled below.
Helpful Tips Before the Test
It would benefit your child if you could help them develop better and more effective study strategies before the exam. Here are some helpful tips you can advise your children before their scheduled test:
- Know the test format. If possible, it would be better for your child to know the format of the test before the exam. It will help them feel more prepared and comfortable while taking the exam. For students preparing for PSLE, their parents can download files related to the exams online.
- Rearrange the material. Remember that memorising is not wrong, but having a deeper understanding of the lesson is much better than memorising it. Kids can try studying and learning differently from how it is presented.
- Prepare some possible questions. One of the best ways to prepare for an exam is to predict and answer potential questions ahead of time. It would help them gain more mastery and confidence in their lessons.
Tips on How to Overcome Anxiety During Examination
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Now that your kids are finally able to come up with a better study strategy that works for them, you can now give pieces of advice that could help them during the test. Here are some things that you may suggest:
- Devise a schedule with your kids. It would be essential to ensure that your child can follow a schedule. This helps them efficiently use the time in answering the practice tests. It is helpful to have them create test-taking strategies that best suit them to make them feel more comfortable.
- Find the best way to distract them (if needed). There will be times during the exam when you will panic even though you make enough preparation before it. Keep in mind that it would be helpful to break the routine sometimes and let them de-stress.
- Come up with your calming techniques. You may look for the best ways to ease your anxiety or stress. For example, having a stress ball or practising deep breathing.
- Accept that you do not know everything. There could be times when accepting that you do not always know the answer to specific questions could be the best way to manage your stress and anxiety.
- Accommodations. Some kids experience difficulty with their test anxiety and could be eligible for accommodations during test time.