How to Help Your Students Reduce Test Stress

By Huntington Learning Center

Tests can be stressful for many students. Here are a few tips to share with them that will help reduce the nerves that are common with test-taking:

  • A solid before-test routine is important. Students should get plenty of sleep the night before a test so they are well rested. Reviewing the material the night before the test is good, but cramming is not. The morning of the test, students should eat a filling, healthy breakfast and think positive thoughts.
  • Remember what tests are and are not. Tests measure what students know and their progress toward mastery of topics and units. They are important, but they are not the only thing that matters in school. Remind your students not to worry too much about a test’s importance.
  • Preparation reduces stress. It’s simple but true: the better your students prepare for tests, the less stressed they will feel before test day. Encourage them to listen and pay attention in class, do their homework, and avoid falling behind on assignments.
  • Best practices make a difference. Remind students to do a quick calculation at the start of every test to make sure they know approximately how much time they can spend on each question. It’s important to read all directions and questions carefully and circle any to come back to (if students aren’t able to answer them quickly).
  • Figure out a way to calm down. Students need a few trusted relaxation and visualization techniques in their toolbox to try when nerves take over during tests.

If you have students whose study skills seem to need strengthening, refer them to Huntington. We’ll help them become more effective learners who are capable of problem-solving, thinking critically, and proving their knowledge. This will build their confidence as test-takers and students.