But worrying about passing tests won’t help students pass them. Preparing for tests will. Here’s how parents can help students get better grades—and reduce stress at the same time:
Help your child set realistic goals. Wanting to make an “A” when you’re a “C” student adds to test anxiety.
Warn against cramming for tests. Encourage your child to start reviewing the day the test is announced. He should go over everything at least once.
Suggest studying with a buddy or group. They can ask each other the questions they think the teacher is likely to ask on the test.
Get your child help from a friend or tutor if she needs it to succeed in problem areas.
Make sure your child has what he needs before the test—pencils, pen, paper, calculator, a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast.
Stay calm and don’t apply undue pressure. Reassure your child that you expect her to do her best, but that you don’t expect perfection.
Be a cheerleader. Send your child to school with a pat on the back or a hug.
Show your child how to cheer himself on by reminding himself of the preparation he’s made and the good work he’s done in the past.
Remind your child to skim through the test quickly and answer the questions he’s sure of first.
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