Study strategies and coping skills transform attitudes
When athletes are called upon to perform in high-pressure situations many of them describe having peaked senses that they use to their advantage. They’re able to quiet their minds, zone out the audience, and make the catch. Kids with test anxiety have the opposite reaction.
“Anxiety also has the potential to shut you down,” explains neuropsychologist Ken Schuster. “When kids are having test anxiety they can’t think clearly, they can’t judge things the way they could if they weren’t anxious. All of your other abilities get clouded up by anxiety.”
Why some kids get test anxiety
There are a number of different reasons why some kids might be more susceptible to anxiety. Test anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with learning issues. Children who have ADHD or a learning disability are often already feeling anxious about school, and when it’s time to take a test that sense can be heightened. “If I have ADHD and I am prone to inattention, if I start feeling anxious on top of that I’m going to have a lot more difficult,” notes Dr. Schuster.