One of the most important ways you can reduce test anxiety is through positivity. Change the conversation surrounding testing from one of stress and dread to one of positivity and encouragement. Remind your students that while grades and tests are important, learning and growing is the ultimate goal. Always emphasize that identity and worth are separate from performance, especially in the realm of tests. Your attitude on tests will greatly affect the environment of your classroom and ultimately the attitude of your students toward testing.
Have a few students who are still really struggling with stress – even after implementing these strategies? Share these scientifically proven ways to reduce stress with them.
Remember that while grades and tests are important tools in the classroom, your role as an educator extends beyond enhancing test performance. Creating a positive, safe environment in your classroom will reduce test anxiety and promote genuine learning that is not motivated by fear or performance. For more resources on preparing students for standardized testing without teaching to the test, see our teacher’s guide to test prep.