Preparing for Test-Taking Success
April 19, 2024

Spring comes with a lot of changes. Green grass starts to sprout, clocks change, schools slow down their pace to take tests. For some students, testing season can bring on unwanted stress and worry.  If you can use some tips to help ease your mind as you prepare for the upcoming tests, read on.

  1. Make sure to take care of your body– If your body is tired, hungry, too cold, too hot, etc. it will not be able to handle stressors the best way it can. Your brain will perform much better if your body’s basic needs are met. So, get a good night’s rest, eat a healthy breakfast, drink water, and dress appropriately for your classroom. 
  2. Take deep breaths and focus on one question at a time– Your mind may wander during the test. Congratulations, you’re human. Our brains are meant to wander and that’s ok. Bring your attention to your breath (if you know breathing techniques, awesome…if you don’t, just take deep breaths). Focus on whatever question you are reading. Don’t worry about what you’ve already done or what you have yet to do.
  3. Talk to a friend, family member, or trusted adult with any kind of worries- Sometimes it’s helpful to say things aloud. If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable. You might find it comforting that your friends are feeling the same way, so offer words of encouragement to each other. Better yet, think about what you would say to a friend who is feeling anxious about taking a test. Then, say it to yourself.
  4. Remember that you are more than a test- Schools can drill into students the importance of tests. This isn’t to say to blow off the tests. It’s just a reminder that you can be funny, resourceful, a good friend, a helpful child, and an amazing artist…none of which are measured by standardized tests.
  5. Reframe the purpose of the test– If your thoughts focus on negative outcomes, you may increase your stressful feelings which could prevent you from performing your best. Instead of thinking “I’m not going to know anything on this test”, think of something more helpful like “I’m going to do my best and I can’t do anything more than that.”  Good luck!  And remember, you got this!

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