We all can relate to having some sort of test anxiety, whether it is a test in school or a blood test. Unless you have ice running through your veins, or are one of the truly rare few who has mastered the ability to control most situations, it is likely that the pressure of being judged or evaluated has produced some performance anxiety in you recently.
Jack has developed some test anxiety as a part of the reading evaluations they do at school. They level the kids based on their skills and that determines what books they should be reading and the reading group in which they are placed. The test consists of a multi-page passage the child must read aloud and each mistake in accuracy and fluency is physically noted by the teacher, then they have to answer comprehension questions about the text. Who wouldn’t start to get anxious as someone is marking down each mistake made? And doing so in plain view? Seems reasonable to me.
It doesn’t help that Jack has been testing at the lower end of the desired range for his reading level for the last two years and pushing hard to improve. Some, if not most, of the resultant anxiety is on us as parents. To try to help him move through this anxiety, we have tried to create practice tests during other reading times. Our hope is that he will get used to having someone scrutinizing his reading and learn to tune out distractions and make fewer mistakes while increasing his comprehension.
I am not sure if it helped him on his latest evaluation, but he said it did. Anything we can do at this age to help him get comfortable with testing the better, since he will be tested for many years to come.
Do your kids have test anxiety? If so, what tools did you use to help him/her overcome it?