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9 Anxiety-Busters for Kids Taking Standardized Tests

by Erin Dower

Test day jitters are striking earlier than ever. In most states, standardized testing aligned with the Common Core begins in second or third grade, but a few states administer standardized tests as early as kindergarten. Many children experience test day anxiety at some point, so learn some tips and techniques to help your child manage it from a young age.

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parent, child prepare for test

Use Positive — But Not Excessive — Reinforcement


In the weeks leading up to the exam, acknowledge that it's coming up and remind your child that he is well prepared from his studies all year. But take care not to overdo it. The NYU Child Study Center says that excessive reassurance can cause an anxious child to seek to discredit their parent's opinion. In other words, your child might give into his self doubts as a way of rebelling against your praise. Also, avoid talking about your own experiences with testing when you were a student. Saying things like "Tests were easy for me" or "I was a horrible test taker" can affect your child's anxiety level. As with any kind of test, avoid threatening punishment for poor performance so that you can remove the fear factor.

Next: Pack a "Lovey" or Lucky Charm

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