Exam anxiety is common. It prevents children from showing what they are made of. Once the fear of classwork is there, the motto is: strengthen self-confidence, find causes and gradually remove fears.
Sweaty hands, trembling knees – test anxiety prevents children from showing what they can do © Tom Wang fotolia.com
If there is a big test ahead, each of us is a little nervous. A little excitement doesn’t hurt at all. It shows us that something is important to us and drives us to perform at our best. If you get bored with a job, you are not doing your best. So a little stage fright is a good thing.
Upcoming class assignments can also cause panic in some children. Then cold sweat drips from the forehead, the knees shake and that small Hands trembling. According to a representative survey by the DAK, almost every second student suffers from it exam stress. No matter whether it is a presentation or a written work. In these situations you have to prove yourself, self-confidence is challenged – not everyone can handle it.
Once the fear of the exam is there, even well-prepared children find it difficult to show what they can do. What follows are bad grades, even more fear and the feeling of not being enough. Some students then give up their efforts around school or a certain subject entirely – according to the motto “It doesn’t make any sense anyway.” Now the motto is: release the pressure and give the little ones new courage.
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Exam anxiety symptoms
Exam anxiety has multiple symptoms. Every child reacts differently. The personality, but also the cause of fear, plays a role here. These are the most common symptoms:
Rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, dizziness, sleep disorders, headache or abdominal pain
Excessive learning or refusal to learn
Tension, nervousness, aggression
Very negative thoughts about your own performance and / or the upcoming exam
15 tips against exam anxiety in children
How do children get rid of the fear of classwork?? We recommend proceeding step by step: First tackle the problem. Then the right learning techniques ensure that your child’s fear of exams does not return. Our emergency tips provide quick help.
Step 1: Identify causes and create a good basis
1. Analyze fear, find causes
What is bothering me? Our fears are as different as our children are. To get rid of the fear of class assignments, it is important to name them. Because: Those who know themselves and their concerns well learn more easily how to deal with them.
Different causes of exam anxiety in children:
Fear of the exam situation: The moment of the exam itself scares your child. If it has to prove itself, the blackout sets in out of sheer panic. This inhibits some children during preparation. You distract yourself instead of learning. Others come prepared for the exam, but that doesn’t help either. A lack of self-confidence and bad experiences in exam situations are often the cause here.
Fear of a bad grade: The fear of a bad grade can inhibit children during the preparation and / or cause a blockage during the exam situation. Pressure from the family or the child’s excessive demands on themselves can be the trigger.
Ask yourself: Is your child generally a little anxious and needs more self-confidence? Was there a specific situation that was bothering him? Or are his demands too high? Together, become aware of how fear is rooted.
2. Remove pressure
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for fear of exams is pressure from the parents’ home. There are rants with bad grades? You are then disappointed or sad? This is normal, of course, parents only want the best for their children. But these negative feelings also stir up the child fear of exams.
It helps children a lot if, as parents, you create a relaxed atmosphere at home. Show your child that you love them no matter what notes they write. We have one for that something different testimony developed in which parents can all appreciate the great qualities of their children that do not reflect grades. → Action #mehralsNoten – the slightly different testimony for your child
Rewards can also build pressure: For a 1 there is the toy that you have wished for! – That is well meant, but unfortunately it also creates a lot of stress. In this case, every point in the class work decides whether your child’s wish will come true. Better: A surprising gift with good grades, but above all recognition when your child has made an effort. It gives the feeling that not only the result counts, but above all how much effort has been put into it.
3. Stay realistic
Don’t set expectations too high before an exam. A slight improvement is already a great thing. Consistent results, but the heart didn’t beat so fast? Wonderful! Exam anxiety in children only goes away slowly. Be patient and appreciate the small (progress) steps together.
4. Create a relaxed learning atmosphere
The fear of class work makes some children fail when they are studying. It is therefore important that Children feel comfortable in their study place. A cozy and quiet place, a few plants and an ergonomic desk chair provide the ideal feel-good learning atmosphere. Small rituals, such as the funny "learning t-shirt" or a warm cup of tea, help to switch the head to "learning mode".
5. How do mom and dad deal with fears??
How do you get your nervousness under control? Tell your child what you are doing and maybe together you will find your own way to fight the fear of classwork. Perhaps it is a mascot, a t-shirt from your favorite club or a favorite snack before or after the exam? Feel free to admit that sometimes you too are afraid and that this is not a bad thing.
6. Do not look for errors, but for solutions
It is important that you clarify: Errors are indications on what needs to be practiced and no failure. After all, if you don’t make mistakes, you won’t learn anything, right? Children can learn from failures in particular to deal with difficult situations more easily in the future.
Step 2: learn right, without pressure
7. Start preparing early and plan breaks
It is particularly important for children who are afraid of exams to start preparing for class work in good time. Learning under pressure only creates stress. It is better to read the documents at least 5 days in advance and day after day small portions to learn.
With a learning plan, you can divide up the amount of learning and consider which methods are most easily used to access the learning material. It can also be sufficient Breaks and time for hobbies be planned – an important prerequisite for successful learning.
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