It’s that time of year when the weather starts to improve and flowers are about to bloom! Springtime is around the corner and with it the mounting stress of standardized testing. In a time when performance standards tests are given in early elementary and middle grades, more people are feeling test anxiety than ever before. Parents and students alike have to face one inevitable fact: pass or fail. This is incredibly daunting, particularly for our youngest students. It can be a lot to take in as a young child. Nevertheless, this time of year does not have to be so scary. There are plausible, and dare we say doable, ways to keep the test stress at bay!

Exams are a very real concern for everyone during the second semester of the school year, but there are ways to prepare for them. Before and after-school programs, tutors, and practical study habits can all help students and their parents plan for the upcoming assessments. The more planning and preparation you and your child take part in, the less apprehensive you will both feel.

One of the first opportunities for test prep is often offered right at your child’s school. Many institutions offer before or after school programs that help students practice necessary test-taking skills. More often than not, teachers with years of testing experience are the ones offering this type of help. They have ample practice in helping young minds ease into exams. However, not all schools offer this kind of help and if they do, your child will be sharing the teacher’s attention with the other students enrolled which may be just as overwhelming as the classroom. The good news is there are other outlets you can employ which offer personalized help!

Another great way to plan for upcoming assessments is to employ a tutor. If you feel like your child needs some extra practice in a few specific concepts, or maybe you would like to polish up on a particular subject, a tutor is your solution. Tutors are an excellent resource because they offer individualized, one-on-one attention. No matter what your worry, there is a tutor who can help. A weekly tutorial in test-prep can help your child adjust to a studying routine, aid them in areas they may need more help with, and boost their confidence when facing new or challenging material.

Finally, while school programs and tutors are valuable resources, it is important to establish successful studying habits at home. It might be helpful to set up a schedule for times devoted to exam practice. Kids respond positively to routine, therefore incorporating test preparation into your daily routine can be a relatively painless, healthy habit forming, solution to pre-exam jitters. Find a space in your home that is quiet and free of distractions. This space should be comfortable and well lit. Make sure any TVs, phones, tablets, or other devices in the area are turned off or put away. Soft, calming music may be helpful to some students but not all. Developing effective strategies can take a little time, as it is specific to the individual, but once you find one that works for your family stick to it. These early measures can lay ground for success in the years to come!

Testing is stressful for everyone, but through proper planning, this time of year can be a little less anxiety inducing. Students don’t have to dread their impending exams and parents can help. Look into your school’s networks. If they offer your child extra help, take it. If you feel that your child needs individualized attention to grasp concepts not caught earlier in the classroom, consider a tutor. They can give your child the extra practice and self-assurance they need to succeed. Finally, create a studying routine in your household and lay down long-term procedures. The key to test success is planning, and with these tools you’re sure to see positive results!