Wake Ed

Wake County offers tips for easing student test anxiety

The Wake County school system is trying to help parents ease their children’s test anxiety before the start of one of the most high-stakes testing periods in recent North Carolina memory.

The school system sent out a press release Thursday with tips for preparing for the state’s end-of-grade and end-of-course exams that students will soon be taking. These exams will help determine the new performance-based letter grades that schools will get later this year and also help with promotion decisions in third grade as part of Read To Achieve.

Tips to help students get ready include:

• Help your student keep a consistent sleep schedule for several nights before the test.

• Encourage consistent and healthy eating. Make sure your student gets a good breakfast the day of the test at home or at school.

• Exercise with your student or play games to help relieve stress or pre-test jitters.

• Let your student know you believe in him and support him. Build his confidence by reviewing all he has learned this year.

• Check in with your student about the strategies for success that their teachers will discuss in class. Remind them to check that each test section is complete before moving to the next section — students will not be permitted to go back to previous sections once they have moved on.

• The morning of the test, be calm. Allow plenty of time to get your student to school. Create a back-up plan in case he or she misses the bus or ride to school.

• Emphasize the importance of doing your best, but also remind your student that test results are only one measure of academic progress, and do not define their value or abilities.

• Remember that cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the testing room.

• A gentle hug and positive statements from a parent can build your student’s confidence.