Is your child exhibiting these symptoms?

  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stomachache

If you said yes to these symptoms, your child may have test anxiety.

What is test anxiety?

According to researchers, it is a psychological condition in which individuals undergo intense stress, anxiety, and discomfort before taking a test. Children that have test anxiety have an overwhelming irrational fear of failing an exam. A child may keep this fear to themselves and not report to their parents that they are feeling this way.

Guess what!! Test Anxiety is very common in children!

Did you know that between 25%-40% of students in the United States experience test anxiety.

In fact, elementary school students experience higher levels of test anxiety during standardized tests.

If you suspect your child has test anxiety, here is what to investigate for:

  • Look to see if your child’s symptoms are only present before having an exam.
  • Make sure that you are listening carefully to your child if they bring up worries about a bad grade on an exam or talking about peers performing better than them on exams.
  • Anxiety physical symptoms to look for: heart racing, sweaty palms, tense body, hyperventilating. Hidden symptoms: the child will look distracted but may be struggling.

How do I help my child manage test anxiety?

  • Time management skills: test preparation, help your child come up with a schedule to prepare for the exam. This can include a planner, schedule, doing smaller tasks, breaking them down to help with comprehension.
  • One trick you can tell your child is: when taking the exam, if you notice difficult questions, leave them until the end. Get done with the easier questions first and go back to the difficult ones.
  • Stress management: see if your child’s teacher will let your child use a stress ball or practice deep breathing.

Try not to overemphasize good grades!

Children with test anxiety may have a fear of disappointing parents if they do not perform well and come home with a good grade.

Parenting Check!

  • Did you know that you could be unintentionally putting pressure on your child? Parents often encourage their child and consistently say how smart they are or how much of a great job they are doing. However, it is important that your child needs to fail sometimes. It is imperative for the child to know the feeling of disappointment; without this feeling, they aren’t able to learn to cope when tasks are difficult.
  • Positive mindset on the world FAIL: First Attempt in Learning!
  • Make sure you are having a discussion with your child about doing their best! It is more important for you to see them try on a test!

Ask your child’s teacher!

Make sure to have a conversation with your child’s teacher if they notice any symptoms for test anxiety from your child. Discuss accommodations that may be helpful for your child to help improve their academic success.

When to seek professional help:

  • If you tried all these techniques and your child is still having test anxiety.
  • If your child’s experiences test anxiety often or all the time when they take exams.
  • If it’s seeming to be getting worse or becoming severe before taking each exam.

Social workers or therapists can help with test anxiety by using a therapeutic intervention called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This intervention focuses on the impacts of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT specifically goes into investigating your child’s negative thoughts and how those thoughts affect their feelings and actions for test preparation. Specialists like social workers can discover the cause of your child’s test anxiety and help your child come up with coping strategies to reframe the negative thoughts for taking a test.

Source: How To Support a Child With Test Anxiety | K-8 Advice | U.S. News (

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!

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