Helping a Teen Who Suffers from Severe Test Anxiety Prepare for Their High School Finals

Most individuals experience some degree of nervousness prior to taking a test or having an evaluation performed; however, there are those that experience both an intense fear of tests and suffer from an immense degree of worry. This is an issue identified among mental health professionals as “test anxiety”. It is a common occurrence among high school students because of the excessive pressure they are put under to perform optimally. If your high schooler suffers from text anxiety, continue reading to learn how to help them successfully prepare for their high school finals.

Hiding from school on test day

Identifying the Symptoms of Test Anxiety

If you suspect your teen is suffering from text anxiety, the first step to assisting them is to identify the symptoms associated with the condition. In most instances, there will be cognitive symptoms, emotional symptoms, and even physical symptoms. The most common include those outlined below:

  • Test anxiety often results in difficulties in concentration.
  • You may find that your child experiences thoughts of past performances in which they did not do very well and that they are worried about the same thing happening with their high school finals.
  • You may find that they appear to be tense, are having difficulties relaxing, and may even have other physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, a stomach ache, and excessive thirst due to having a dry mouth.
  • Many may exhibit emotional and physical symptoms of fear. This may come out during study sessions or right before it is time to take the finals.
  • Anger, irritability, depression, and shame are also common symptoms associated with test anxiety.

How to Help

If you are still reading this, it is likely that you have determined that – yes – your teen is suffering from test anxiety.

Now, it is time to learn how you can help them prepare for their high school finals.

Below, you will find a list of action steps that are not only productive, but will enhance your child’s overall performance in basic academics, routine quizzes, standardized testing, as well as big tests – such as semester exams and finals:

  1. First, you should tell your teen that you understand the anxiety that they have in regards to test-taking. You should encourage them to ask for help and to accept help. It is possible for you and your child to work with teachers, guidance counselors, and academic coaches who can provide sessions, tips, and strategies for getting prepared for the tests. Additionally, guidance counselors and mental health professionals can assist your child with their anxiety, negative mind set, and past negative experiences.
  2. Instead of putting pressure on your child to prepare for their high school finals at the last minute, encourage them to keep all study guides and other related material throughout the school year. Each week, review this material. As test time draws near, come up with creative ways to cover the material. For example, create flash cards, stories, and other study materials that will help in refreshing the material that your child will have to remember on their finals.
  3. While it is important to dedicate time for studying, you should ensure that your teen takes frequent breaks and engages in enjoyable activities. This will help to refresh their mind and to allow them a little “down time” for their academics.
  4. You should make certain that your teenager remains healthy. Make certain that they are consuming healthy foods, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and participating in physical activities that will keep their body healthy. All of these activities will also help in the task of managing stress and controlling any extenuating anxiety in which they may suffer.
  5. Inform your child that – yes – the finals are important. They are not just important to their general academic success, but also to their future. Getting high scores is important; however, let them know that it is more important to do their best. That is, their personal best. As long as they put forth the effort, you do not expect “perfection”. Not everyone will get perfect scores all of the time, and that is acceptable. If you keep the pressure low, the amount of pressure that they place on themselves will be lower and will boost their mental health.
happy teen

We Can Help

Does your child need help preparing for their high school finals? Do they suffer from test anxiety? Do you feel your family needs a little extra help?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we here at Miracle Math can help! Just contact us today by calling:


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