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Tips for Students: How to Reduce Test Anxiety
To reduce test anxiety, study enough to feel confident that you know the material. Then try to replace the worry and negative thinking with thoughts that are positive and relaxing. Some of the following suggestions may help you.
1. Start studying early. Cramming increases test anxiety.
2. Mentally practice going through the testing experience. Close your eyes and see yourself confidently walking into the test, answering the questions correctly, and receiving the grades you want. Go through the mental exercise several times before the test.
3. The night before a test, review the material, and then get a good night’s sleep.
4. Walk into the test with your head up and your shoulders back. If you act confident, you just may find that you feel more confident.
Try these four common relaxation techniques:
1. Take a deep breath. Then slowly release your breath, along with any tension. Do this until you feel your body relax.
2. Start at the top of your head, flexing, and then relaxing each part of your body.
3. Close your eyes and visualize warm sunshine washing over you melting away the tension, and relaxing all of your muscles.
4. Think of a place where you feel very relaxed and calm. Close your eyes and visualize being in that place.
Tips for Parents: Finding the Balance
One of the biggest challenges of parenting teens is knowing when to loosen the rules and when to tighten them. The payoff is striking the right balance in shaping your teen into an adult who’s responsible and can make appropriate decisions. Try these suggestions for balancing freedom and control.
Decide which rules can’t be comprised. For example, you can probably accept your high schooler deciding his own bedtime. But will you put up with his driving 20 miles over the speed limit? Set clear rules and consequences for those areas you won’t budge on.
Negotiate flexible areas. Listen to your teen’s input and pick rules you both can live with. Example: She can have her girlfriend’s sleep over as long as they clean up the mess the next morning. Also, listen to her side of a situation. You don’t always have to change your mind, but be willing to think it over.
Allow your teen to make more decisions as time goes by. Start with smaller matters (hairstyles, clothes) and work up to larger issues (class schedules, managing money ). Try granting a new right and responsibility every couple of months. Example: a later curfew along with cooking for the family once a month. If your teen abuses new freedoms, go back to stricter rules until he/she shows he/she can be trusted.