Testing starts at a young age
It would seem as if exams and tests are starting at a younger and younger age, and it is not uncommon for first graders to feel stressed and nervous at the prospect of having to read to the class, or sit through a numeracy assessment. It’s up to teachers to prepare children for the content of exams, but it is up to us as parents to prepare children for the experience and potential stress of exams. Many children stress just at the thought of taking a test, or speaking in front of a class, and it can become an obstacle before they have even opened a book to prepare.
How to tell if your child is stressing
Exam or testing stress is different to other stress, because it is predictable, coming at certain times during the school year. The following can be signs of stress in a child:
- Sleeping patterns changing.
- Irritability and emotional.
- Nail biting or fidgeting.
- Change of normal habits, such as losing interest in friends.
- Unspecified stomachaches.
- Older children may find it difficult to make small decisions, and seem indecisive or ‘zoned out’.
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