How to Help Your Child Cope with Stress from School Exams and Standardized Tests

teen test examPreparing for school exams or standardized tests is part of every child’s educational experience.   Stress levels in children can elevate during this time as they become anxious about earning satisfactory scores.

High levels of stress can affect academic performance but it becomes a real concern for young students when it takes a toll on their health.  Kids may develop symptoms of stress such as sleeplessness, mental blocks or irregular eating habits.

There are several things parents can do to help alleviate test stress and anxiety:

  • Teach Calming Techniques such as taking deep breaths and muscle relaxation.
  • Help with test preparation; educate yourself about the subject so that you can provide assistance if this is not possible explore hiring a tutor or suggest a study group.
  • Practice Time Management by giving mock exams with time limits. This will bolster confidence and reduce panic on the day of the test.
  • Provide a Positive Environment by ensuring that their daily activities remain as routine as possible. This means normal bedtimes, meal times or hobbies.

While a certain amount of stress or anxiety may motivate some students to perform better for others it creates the opposite effect.  It is important for parents to observe how their child reacts to stressful situations and help them to cope. If your child displays symptoms of stress for an extended period of time, communicate with them and if the assistance of a mental health professional is needed, the school counselor or family doctor can be a good place to start.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry offers group therapy, individual therapy, medicine management, and other specialty groups to children, adolescents, and adults. For additional information, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.