So it is that time of year again when thousands of children around the UK take their SAT’s. This year my daughter is one of them and I was surprised when she told me she was nervous and worried about them. These are essentially teacher and exam based assessments to test on national education standards. There has been criticism in regards to the fact that SAT’s put children under unnecessary stress and create exam anxiety. They have all these fears running through their mind. They say things to themselves that dis-empower themselves. This led me to reminisce of the days when I did exams at school, the stress and the exam anxiety that some of the children experienced.
Anxiety is a fear of the future.
This means it is a fear that we have of something that is still to happen. The thing is, it may never happen or the outcome can be totally different to what we fear. Who can tell the future? Most things that we get anxious about never actually happen. If you can change the outcome, then there is no need to fear it. I would agree that if you did not open a book and made no preparation whatsoever, then you could probably expect not to pass an exam. What however if you did prepare and you did study? How would you know what questions the teacher may ask?
How would you know what your result was going to be? You can improve your chances by the preparation that you did, but you could not accurately say what percentage mark you would receive. So there is no reason to be anxious. You have given yourself your best chance by preparing sufficiently. The best thing you can do now is to focus on the outcome that you want. By doing this you can create a positive internal representation of the outcome and put your mind at ease. If you focus on what might go wrong, then you create stress and anxiety and as such clog your brain from functioning at its optimum. The problem is that many people don’t want to put in the preparation.
My daughter’s exam anxiety.
My daughter received some previous tests that she can study to give her an idea of what to expect and to do some preparation. However, she was so flustered by the fact that her teacher said it would be difficult, that she did not even know how to get started. Back to the fact that if you don’t prepare you can predict you might fail. So what if we prepare instead?
My daughter had 60 pages in the test papers and she had around 100 days before the test. After 5 minutes coaching, she agreed to spend the first half hour of her day reading 2 pages. (I know you are asking, “You coached your daughter.”) This way she decides on the action plan and she owns it. Rather than just telling her what to do. Read 2 pages every day until the actual SAT’s. That means that she could go through the materials several times and get well prepared for what lay ahead.
Not only does that prepare her for the actual test as she knows what type of questions to expect. She has given herself the best chance of success. It also starts her to plan how to create the outcome she wants from a young age. Now the anxiety is much less and with practice will disappear. Another very useful way to deal with anxiety is to use Time Line Therapy® or hypnosis. Now that is the next thing I will do with her, but only after she has actually put in some effort of her own. Both Time Line Therapy® and hypnosis are great ways to help get rid of exam anxiety and fear.
Now if only I knew how to do Time Line Therapy® when I was at school, then I certainly could have gotten rid of a lot of exam anxiety. Anybody know how to do time travel?
If you need any more information or help with exam anxiety, then please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.