How To Help Your Students Overcome Test Anxiety


While it’s normal to feel a little nervous about an upcoming test, some students experience debilitating test anxiety that can interfere with their performance, sleep, and even dread going to school on test days.What’s more, test anxiety can happen to any student, no matter how well they prepare for exams.

Are your students struggling with test anxiety? We got you covered! Here are some simple strategies to help alleviate your students’ test anxiety and enable them to perform their best on tests.

Ask the Student :

To Identify the Source of Test Anxiety

The source of test anxiety can be as simple as a lack of preparation or as complex as deeply-rooted self-confidence issues, often because of inadequate support from parents and teachers.

Students will struggle with different aspects of taking a test. Only when you understand where that anxiety is coming from can you create a plan of attack to help your students tackle test anxiety.

Validate Your Student’s Activity:

Exercise your active listening skills to get a better idea of where your student is emotionally. Let them tell you how they’re feeling and what challenges they’re dealing with, rather than trying to fill in those blanks on your own. Then, use positive affirmations and relate to them whenever possible. 

Be positive and supportive as you interact with the student. Your uplifting energy can help put the student’s mind at ease and help them feel more receptive, overall, to your guidance and help.

However, don’t ignore the student’s feelings or brush them off. What they’re feeling is valid, and they need to know that you’ll help them from where they are, not where you think they should be.

Help Your Student Map Out a Study Schedule

Studying doesn’t end with the end of your tutoring session. Your student should continue to review and study independently in the days leading up to the test.

Help your student create a study schedule that works for them. Encourage them to review material:

  • Between classes
  • During lunch breaks
  • After school
  • Before the test begins

At the same time, make sure you encourage your student to work in breaks. Trying to study too hard or for too long can make it much more difficult to actually retain the material and can lead to higher overall stress.

Offer Successful Test-Taking Strategies

Often, combating test anxiety means becoming a more confident, prepared test-taker. Many students don’t know how to take a test effectively because they’ve never received reasonable instruction developing this essential skill.

Teachers may simply present a test to their students and assume they’ll do their best. Some students, however, may struggle to show off what they know on a test.

Teach Your Student Anxiety Reduction Strategies

In some cases, the same strategies for coping with general anxiety work great for mitigating test anxiety. Teach your student effective anxiety-reducing and mindfulness techniques like deep breathing exercises, positive affirmations, and mindfulness meditation before tests.