Relieving Student Anxiety For State Testing

This month, Pennsylvania students began a series of standardized tests in various subjects and concentrations. From the inner cities to the most rural farm towns in PA, students will feel the pressure of standardized testing over the coming weeks.

Despite the myths, cyber charter students do take the same exams (PSSAs & Keystone Exams) as those in traditional brick and mortar schools, and are held to the same standards.

Regardless of the type of school they attend, some students manage testing with a natural ease – but for others, the fear and anxiety of underperforming impacts everything from sleeping to eating to social habits. Fortunately, testing anxiety can be reduced. Following are a few tips for both students and parents to make the best of the test!

Student Tips

  1. PREPPING – Don’t over-study – at some point, our brains can only handle so much info! If you constantly are trying to remember new facts and formulas; chances are that you are forgetting others. Know when to stop and recharge your energy.
  2. DRESS FOR SUCCESS – Wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers- the testing environment may not be what you are used to, and it is important to be as comfortable as possible.
  3. START RIGHT – Read all directions completely and carefully before answering any questions – when in doubt remember to RUN! (Read the instructions, Underline what to do, Note any special requirements!)
  4. MANAGE YOUR TIME – Manage your time by answering easier questions first, and going back to more difficult questions later.

Parent Tips

  1. KEEP THINGS “COOL” – Maintain your children’s normal routine as much as possible – just like over-studying, over-focusing on the exam and forcing your child to miss regularly scheduled weekly classes or practices may have a negative impact.
  2. REST FOR SUCCESS – Make sure your children get a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast. It may seem like common sense, but a nutritious breakfast filled with brain food with sufficient rest are a few vital ingredients for success that are sometimes overlooked during test time.
  3. KEEPING CONFIDENT – Don’t obsess, and don’t ignore the tests. Each day, have a short discussion with your children about the test. Each day will be a new experience for your child based on the subject matter tested. Assure your child that performance on a test is not a condition for your accepting and loving the person he or she is. 

So…what helps your family prepare? If you have more tips or tricks that you think others could use, leave them in the comments below – and get ready to rock the PSSAs!

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