Preparing for a test can be a stressful experience for your teenager when the expectations set by the middle school or high school, the school district, No Child Left Behind, and the teachers are very high. Even the parents of teens sometimes set high standards for their child to maintain a certain grade point average, to be in the top 10 to 20 percent of their class. Those factors, along with the competitiveness of peers, add to the stress. In order to help your teen find a way to get over their pre-test stress, you need to know how to recognize what some of those signs are.
1.The first thing you should do is have your teen write the dates of upcoming tests and what subject the test will be in, on a calendar or line sheet of paper and post it on the refrigerator. This way you will know when to start looking for the beginning signs of pre-test stress.
2.If you notice that your teen is beginning to daydream or doesn’t seem to hear when you speak to him, it could a sign that his mind is becoming too focused on the approaching test and he is feeling stressed. Ask if he is feeling okay, as the lack of focus you see him exhibiting could also be that he is only going over information that will be on the test in his head.
3.When the family sits down for breakfast or dinner, watch to see if your teen exhibits any changes in her eating habits, like leaving a nearly full plate of food when she gets up from the table or if she only picks lethargically at her food. Stress may make her feel physically ill.
4.Other signs of possible pre-test stress you may notice are sudden and inexplicable mood swings, sharp retorts when you ask your teen a question or ask him to do something, or sudden agitation over minor things that normally wouldn’t bother him.
5.If you observe your teen slamming textbooks shut after studying, giving up on studying after only 5 or 10 minutes, or rubbing her temples, chances are she is beginning to feel more severely stressed over the upcoming exam and could be working up a panic attack.