Parents often ask me questions about how they can best support their child with what they’re learning. Many feel they aren’t doing enough, or aren’t doing the right thing, to help their child succeed. I see a lot of these questions more than once, so I’ve decided to collect them and post them here for other parents to read, in case that advice is helpful.
All my advice is based on my own experience from almost 10 years of working with students with learning differences, and on my M.Ed. training at Villanova University.
[…] As for test day, we believe her anxiety got the best of her. She was getting very anxious the day before. Then my wife and I were gone for that weekend and she didn’t have anyone to talk her off the ledge so to speak. I plan on scheduling a call with you next week to discuss a plan. We are hoping that the experience of “the known” will help [my daughter] on subsequent taking of this test. Are there any adjustments to testing procedures for students that are diagnosed with Anxiety that we should explore further?
There many reasons a student may be granted testing accommodations, but anxiety usually isn’t one of them. Besides, the ACT/SAT’s catch all approach to accommodations is extra time, and that’s not a great way to address anxiety around the test. The other accommodations they offer have to do with accessing the test (proctor, scribe, test reader, etc), which aren’t helpful, either.
Unfortunately, this means students diagnosed with anxiety but without any other complicating factors are unlikely to be approved for accommodations.
I usually approach testing anxiety in a way similar to exposure therapy. We talk about the test, practice the test, imagine what the test will be like, and make a bunch of test-related decisions all before test day actually comes. That ensure the students is as ready as they can be on test day and spends their mental energy performing instead of worrying. This is a very common issue, especially with high school juniors, and especially for young women. If you have any questions about testing anxiety or want to discuss a Test Day Plan to help ease that anxiety, schedule a consultation using the link below and we’ll find a time to talk.