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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

Tests, unfortunately, are becoming more and more widely used in our school, creating test anxiety and learning blocks in our teens that get in the way of school success. However, you can help your adolescent cope with the negative effects of testing by providing him with the necessary skills for coping with these stresses. Here are some ideas:

• First, teach him a relaxation exercise he can do quietly before an exam. For example, suggest he breathe deeply and slowly three times before taking the test. Or, have him imagine a favorite peaceful scene in his mind’s eye.

• Second, encourage him to think positively about the test and his ability to succeed. Suggest that he form a mental image of himself doing well and receiving the highest grade.

• Third, recommend that he look over the whole test right at the very beginning and do the easiest part first, then items of moderate difficulty, saving the hardest parts for last.

•  Finally, if he runs into difficulty or feels like he’s going to panic, teach him to close his eyes, say the word “relax,” and imagine the answer coming to him easily and naturally.

Following these guidelines will certainly add extra points on to your teen’s final score.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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