5 Ways to Help Your High School Student with Test Anxiety

With all of the assignments, exams, events, and extracurricular activities that are a part of high school, it’s natural for students to experience stress from time to time. Some of this stress can serve as a motivator, giving students the extra kick they need to complete an assignment on time or to power through a study session. But other types of anxiety can be harmful—one type in particular is test anxiety. Test anxiety is among the most common types of anxiety experienced by high school students.

Ways to help your high school student with test anxiety include introducing him or her to coping tools, and encouraging good habits. Looking for ways to help your student, but not sure where to start? Keep reading to learn five ways to help your high school student with test anxiety:

1. Help your high school student with test anxiety by reassuring him or her that he or she is not alone

According to the American Test Anxieties Association, 16-20% of high school students experience a high level of test anxiety. The association notes that another 18% suffer from moderately high test anxiety. It can put high school students at ease to know that their test anxiety is shared by many of their peers.

[RELATED: 4 Ways Parents Can Help High School Students Succeed]

2. Help your high school student with test anxiety by introducing him or her to coping tools

Students can partially reduce their test anxiety by learning to address it. Students who routinely experience test anxiety can master breathing exercises, meditation, and other relaxation techniques that can help them calm themselves before an exam. If you have questions about how to teach these techniques, speak to your student’s high school guidance counselor or psychologist.

There are also many smartphone apps that encourage relaxation. Review these apps with your student, and discuss with him or her how to best use them.

[RELATED: High School Parent-Teacher Conferences: What to Ask]

3. Help your high school student with test anxiety by ensuring he or she has studied

For some students, a major source of test anxiety is not appropriately preparing for an exam. Your student can work to prevent test anxiety by ensuring he or she has sufficiently studied for any exams. Encourage strong study habits, and remind your student how important preparation is when it comes to test performance.

If your student is having difficulty forming a study routine, he or she may benefit from more structured study time. Two possible solutions are:

  • Study groups

  • Tutoring.

Speak with your student to determine which of these he or she feels would be most beneficial.

4. Help your high school student with test anxiety by praising good results and good habits

A little praise can often go a long way. Praise your student when he or she is studying or has done well on a test. This type of support can be a great confidence booster that builds up over time.

[RELATED: 3 Ways Students Can Benefit From Journaling]

5. Help your high school student with test anxiety by reminding him or her that exam results aren’t everything

Tests may make up a large part of your high school student’s grades. However, it’s important to remind your student that tests aren’t everything. Getting good marks on exams is important, but so is in-class participation and homework completion. Lowering the stakes of tests—just a little—can be relaxing for some individuals.  


Any topics you want to know more about? Let us know! The Varsity Tutors Blog editors love hearing your feedback and opinions. Feel free to email us at blog@varsitytutors.com.