16
Apr

Test Anxiety Strategies

Are There Test Anxiety Strategies That Can Help?

test anxiety strategies, relaxation techniques, test anxiety, relaxation, guided meditation, affirmations

Test Anxiety Strategies - Photo by Tim Gouw

Yes!  There are many test anxiety strategies on how to deal with test anxiety.  First, I'm going to review the causes, the symptoms,  and who gets it before I discuss what test anxiety strategies to use for managing test anxiety.

 

What is Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety is a feeling someone gets before or during test taking.  It is a type of performance anxiety, that occurs when someone is typically concerned about getting a good outcome.  The result is physical and psychological symptoms that occur before or during tests.  Test anxiety can negatively affect learning and performance.  The good news is there are test anxiety strategies on how to deal with it.  

 

What Causes Test Anxiety?

It is caused by fear of failure, poor test preparation and/or problematic test taking history.  There is pressure to perform at your best level.  This can motivate the test taker.  However, it may also create fear of failure.  Good test preparation is important for a good test result.  It is also important to prevent test anxiety.  A calm test taker tends to know they've studied to the best of their ability.  They also tend to have studied over time, and not in just a few days or at the last-minute.  If the test taker has had a history of negative experiences with test or poor grades on test, this can also cause anxiety on future tests.

 

What Are Symptoms of Test Anxiety?

Symptoms are physical, emotional, and/or behavioral.  They range from mild or very intense. 

 

The physical symptoms may include: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, fast breathing rate, feeling like you can't breathe.  If the anxiety is severe enough, a panic attack may occur.  When someone is having a  panic attack, it is generally very debilitating.  A panic attack can make a person feel paralyzed internally or externally, like they can't move, can't talk, & they may feel like they're having a heart attack.

 

The emotional symptoms may include crying, feeling fear, feeling sadness, and helpless.

 

The behavioral symptoms may include negative self talk, inability to think clearly, and inability to function.

 

Who Gets Test Taking Anxiety?

  • Worriers - If your child has a tendency to worry, he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety. Even if your child is prepared, your child's worrying could cause test taking anxiety.
  • Perfectionists - If your child aims for self perfection, then he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety.  Even if your child does wll in school, the very thought of getting questions wrong, or getting less than an A, leads the perfectionist to have test taking anxiety.
  • Unprepared People - If your child has not learned the subject matter, not practiced with classwork/homework, and/or studied the material, then he/she is more likely to suffer from test anxiety.

 

How To Manage or Prevent Test Anxiety ?

There are many ways to help your child manage, prevent, and/or minimize test anxiety.  

 

    Talk About It

  • Ask your child what's making your child feel nervous.
    • Talking about their feelings make children have less anxiety.  Stay calm too as this helps your child stay calm as well
  • Accept mistakes
    • This can be a part of you child's life lessons.  Teaching your child to handle things when the outcome is not what they expected will help them in life, not just in test taking.
  • Boost your child's confidence.
    • Tell them how wonderful they are.  Ask them to give themselves compliments.  What do they like about themselves? About their great brains?
  • Always offer support.
    • Remind your child that you are always there.  Sometimes, they don't want a solution.  Sometimes being a listener is all he/she needs.

 

    Review Studying Habits & Test Prep

  • Have your child practice on sample tests.
    • Having experience with what the test will feel like will prevent anxiety.
  • Focus on test preparation.
    • Establish a routine for studying and preparing for the upcoming test is very helpful.  Studying a little bit at a time, over a set time period.  It is usually better than craming it in the day before the test.  It also also for better retention of the facts.  
  • Learn your child's best study habits.
    • When does he/she study best?  Is it morning, afternoon, or night?  
    • Does he/she need breaks? 
    • Could hunger be slowing his/her learning/studying? Consider snack breaks in between studying.
    • Does he/she need to do something physical or move around in between studying.
  • Review test taking strategies.
    • Teach your child what to do if they are stuck on a test question.  If they can't answer one, then teach them to mark the question and move on.  They can get back to it later.  
  • Help your child feel their best the day of an exam 
  • Review all methods and test after the test is complete.
    • What were your child's strengths on the test?  Where are their weaknesses?  How could he/she have improved test prep?  What did he/she do that was just right?  What can he/she do again the next time?  Or do differently?  Ask them to evaluate this with you.

    Sleep & Screen Time

  • Find your child's best number of sleep hours.
    • Does your child need eight (8) hours a night?  Ten (10)?  Twelve (12)? Try to make sure they get their best sleep before tests.
  • Monitor your child's screen time.
    • If your child has too much screen time, especially at night, or the days or week before an important test can do more harm than good.

    Relaxation, Guided Meditation & Affirmations

  • Practice relaxation techniques.
    • Deep breathing 
    • Taking a bath
    • Listening to relaxing music
    • Create art.  Drawing and/or coloring is fun and relaxing.
    • Play a board game that's fun with the family the day before the exam.
    • Watch a funny movie with your child.  Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.
  • Use Guided Meditation.
    • I recommend and use, I Am Peace, by Susan Verde.  This is a wonderful book.  It is geared for children.  I think it's a great book for any age.  The last page has a Guided Meditation.  I've read this out loud to my son while he is lying down with his eyes closed.  I must say that both he and I are relaxed at the end, every time.
    • The Balloon
    • Follow the Leader
  • Use Affirmations
9
Apr

E-Cigarette Cancer & Juuling in Teens

What Are E-Cigarettes (E-Cigs)?

E-Cigarette Cancer Increased in Teens unsafe

E-Cigarette Cancer Increased in Teens

E-cigarette cancer chemicals have increased in teens.  Before we get into the details, let's review the background of E-cigarettes.  E-cigs are electronic cigarettes that have liquids that contain many chemicals including nicotine, and fruity and other flavors.  They are battery-powered and mimic cigarettes, but don't have the smell of smoke.  The liquid changes into a vapor due to the heat in an e-cig.  Hence, it’s also called “vaping.”

 

What is Juuling?

There is a new teen trend called “Juuling.”  Juuling is an e-cig that is thin, looks like a flash drive, and charge in a USB port.  A juul produces less smoke which disappears more quickly. Hence, teens are able to juul at school and home without parents’ knowledge.  In comparison to smoking cigarettes, one juul pod (cartridge) has as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

 

What are the Signs if Your Teen is Juuling?

The signs of e-cigarette smoking & juuling are:

  •     Increased thirst
  •     Sore throat
  •     Caffeine sensitivity - they decrease their caffeine intake.
  •     Nosebleeds
  •     Higher rates of pneumonia

 

E-Cigarette Cancer Causing Chemicals

Juul Looks Like a Flashdrive

Juul Looks Like a Flashdrive

They’ve been advertised as a safe alternative to cigarettes.  They’ve also been advertised as an aid to stopping smoking.  Since e-cigs don't burn tobacco, they don't burn the same amounts of tar ans carbon monoxide.  However, e-cigarettes are unsafe, contain high levels of nicotine, and do not help in smoking cessation.  E-cigs and juuls have many cancer-causing chemicals (acrylonitrile, acrolein, acrylamide, benzene and ethylene and propylene oxide, and crotonaldehyde).

 

Study Showed E-Cigarette Cancer Chemicals Increased in Teens

 

In a recent study of 100 teens from the San Francisco Bay area by the University of California-San Francisco study: 67 teens used e-cigs only, 16 used both e-cigs and conventional cigs and 20 didn't smoke or vape at all.  Urine and salivary gland fluids tested positive for cancer-causing chemicals in teen smokers.  It revealed that teens who used e-cigs and cigarettes had three (3) times higher amounts of these e-cigarette cancer causing chemicals in their body fluids as compared to the teens that used only e-cigs.  It revealed that the teens that used e-cigs only had three (3) times higher amounts of these e-cigarette cancer causing chemicals in their body fluids as compared to the teens that didn't smoke at all.  Lastly, the study also showed that teens who used fruit-flavored e-cigarettes had significantly elevated levels of acrylonitrile as compared with those who used other flavors, such as menthol. 

 

Is Advertising Increasing E-Cig Usage by Teens?

The CDC has reported that teens view ads for e-cigarettes more than before; the exposure increased from about 69% in 2014 to about 78% in 2016.  Retail stores have exposed teens to e-cigs the most in comparison to other ads like those found on TV, internet, or magazines.  Since studies show that ads for tobacco products show increased use by teens, it is very likely that ads for e-cigs are also increasing use among teens.

 

FDA Sued for Delay in E-Cig Regulations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its Maryland chapter, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, four other public health groups and five pediatricians filed a lawsuit against the FDA for delaying submission product-review applications for cigars and e-cigarettes until August 2021 and August 2022, respectively. This leaves children at increased risk of cancer and other negative side effects from e-cigs.

 

Learn & Talk About the Risks of E-Cigarettes with Your Kids

 

It is important to learn all about the signs, symptoms, and risks associated with e-cigarettes.  The U.S. Surgeon General has created a website with lots of information about e-cigs and how to talk to your kids about this.  Remind them to respect their bodies and care for themselves.  Positivity goes a long way.  Talk to them today about e-cigarette cancer in teens. 

22
Jun

Faith Affirmation

My faith lifts burdens off my shoulders.  I trust in the Devine.  I will be still and receive His grace.

15
Jun

Fun Affirmation

I nurture the child in me.  I choose to have fun.  I play.  I live happily.

Fun Affirmation

Fun Affirmation:

I nurture the child in me.

I choose to have fun.

I play.

I live happily.

 

There is more information on Children & Affirmations on this website.

There are other Daily Affirmations available as well.

8
Jun

Be You Affirmation

Be bold.  Be beautiful.  Be the one and only you.

1
Jun

Unfolding | Unbroken Affirmation

Unfolding-Unbroken Affirmation:

You are more than your feeling of overwhelming brokenness.

Rise above the dispair.

For you are not borken.

You are forever unfolding.

Gradually, slowly, wonderfully, and magically,

you unfold every day into someone uniqu, new, and powerful.

 

There is more information on Children & Affirmations on this website.

There are other Daily Affirmations available as well.

15
Jan

I Am Everything Affirmation

I Am Everything Affirmation

I Am Everything Affirmation

8
Oct

Good Choices Affirmation

Good Choices Affirmation

Good Choices Affirmation

24
Jul

Imagination Affirmation

Imagination Affirmation

Imagination Affirmation

9
Aug

Worthy of Love Affirmation

Worthy of Love Affirmation

Worthy of Love Affirmation

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