From Test Terrors to Triumphs: Helping Students Conquer Anxiety

Test anxiety is a problem that nearly everyone experiences at one time or another. The fears of “I just can’t !” or “What if I don’t?” overtake confidence, and potential is instantly affected.

From Test Terrors to Triumphs Helping Students Conquer Anxiety

This can be a nerve-wrecking time of year for students as they face standardized testing. There have been many strides made in recent years to look at alternative methods of gauging a student’s mastery of a subject. But this has not been done globally. Students who struggle with standardized testing may feel more anxiety than normal.

Below is a list of tips you can give to students to help ease test-taking stress.

  1. Tell yourself you CAN do well. TEST stands for “Think Each Situation Through.” You get to show how much you have learned when you take a test…lucky you! And I get to see how much I have taught you… lucky me!!!
  2. Don’t cram…It’s hard on your brain! Instead, spread out your studying time over a few days or weeks. Practice doing sample problems, and look over your class material every day until you take the test.
  3. When you study, draw a picture of what you are learning inside your head.
  4. Exercise every day. It will make you feel great, and it’s good for your brain.
  5. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your test so your brain and body aren’t tired and worn out.
  6. Stay relaxed. If you start to stress out right before a test, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and go on a mini-mental vacation. Think about your happiest place, and let your mind go there for a few minutes…just don’t forget to come back!
  7. Read the directions slowly and carefully, and if you don’t understand what they say, ask your teacher to explain them to you.
  8. Skim through the test so you know how long it is. Then you won’t spend too much time on any one question.
  9. Write down the important stuff that you need to memorize (formulas, facts, definitions, etc.) at the top or on the side of your test paper so they don’t clog up your brain and you don’t forget to use them.
  10. Do the easy questions first to build up your confidence. Then, you will have more time to work on the harder ones.
  11. On multiple choice tests, cross out answers that don’t make sense so you can narrow down your choices.
  12. Check a random five: Pick any five questions, and recheck your answers. If you have time, recheck five more.


While being equipped and feeling confident in test-taking skills is important, it is more important for kids to recognize that they are more than a test score. To encourage your students, we have created TWO FREE POSTERS with positive messages and tips for when they take tests.

Written by Julia Cook.

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