PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Test Stress: A Fact of Life

Is it true or false? Is A the right answer, or C? How do I solve this problem? What do I write for this essay? Argh, I'm running out of time! If I fail this test, my parents are going to freak out!

TESTS! They can be totally stressful!

Did you know that these days, students in the U.S. take more tests than ever before? It seems like no matter what grade or school you're in, you're always taking tests. And if you get anxious or nervous before and during a test, you're not alone! In fact, even students who do great in schoolwork can have trouble in the exam department. Fortunately, test-taking can be a lot easier -- and less crazy-making -- if you pick up some useful habits and skills.

Kitty, 11, told us: "When I have a test, and I know it, I do get pretty stressed sometimes. The best thing to do is stay in school and listen to your teachers-If you have time, study with a parent. Parents can help you with so much."

Says Alyssa, 12: "When I get stressed during a test, I stop and take a couple of deep breaths. It usually helps."

Lili, 10, admitted that, "I get nervous only on ISTEP testing-How I deal with it is that I tell myself that I can do it, and I Study. When you're stuck, skip it and come back, or guess."

Our thanks to Josephine Schiff, school social worker, and Betsy Norris, teacher at Harris Middle School, Shelbyville, TN, for their contributions to this topic.

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