Stress and Test Anxiety
Mary Brannen, 6th Grade
Caryl Altman, 7th & 8th Grade
The month of April is when Arizona begins their state testing, the AzMERIT and 8th Grade AIMS Science. Although our students are faced with many challenging tasks during the year, these kinds of tests can be overwhelming because of the length and complexity, resulting in high anxiety and stress.
Here are some tips to help your child feel more confident and prepared.
1. Start the day off right. Provide a nutritious breakfast after a good night sleep. According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “Adolescents are notorious for not getting enough sleep. The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours.”
2. Teach your children to use affirmations. Come up with a phrase that you can say to your child on the way out the door and they can repeat to themselves before they tackle a difficult task.
3. Have a positive attitude. Middle school is already hard enough and our students need a lot of encouragement from a support system that includes home and school. Although it is important for students to put their very best effort into these tests, we recognize that it is just one measure of their learning throughout the year.
4. Practice mindfulness. This includes breathing, clearing your thoughts, and being present. Take each question, response, test, one at a time.
5. Don’t stress. “Try not to worry about when other people finish their work. Focus on your own test and worry about you” (AZ Daily Star).
If you or your child needs additional tips, tools, resources, support, your awesome school counselors are always here to help!