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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Fears and Anxieties > My Child Fails Every Test

My Child Fails Every Test

My Child Fails Every Test

Examination times are testing times for both parents and children. Pressure on the children develops anxiety in them as a result of which they become nervous. Sometimes children are so anxious that they forget everything and their minds become blank. What are the causes of anxiety? Read on.

Tests make them nervous

It's inexplicable, but your child just can't seem to do well in tests. It's not that he's lacking in intelligence because you've personally done revisions with him and he definitely knows all the answers at home. But his test results are always poor to dismal.

Today, the pressure on children to perform and achieve is tremendous. Parents are pulling out their hair and feeling like they are back in school again as they try to jog their memories and fathom the mysteries of fractions, decimals, maps, historical events, and the basic principles of science. They will try anything to get their children to perform - cajoling, screaming, bribing, extra classes, etc. But sometimes nothing seems to work.

The problem, in such cases, is one of test anxiety. Children become so nervous about the test that when faced with a blank answer sheet, their minds go blank, even if they are well prepared. Most parents find it hard to believe that mere nervousness can make a child forget everything he's learned and fervently pray that he'll grow out of it.

Short circuit of the brain

Some researchers give a physiological explanation for test anxiety. According to them, when a child prepares for a test, the information is stored in the short-term memory. The area of the brain that controls short term memory is also the centre for emotion. Thus, when a child becomes anxious during a test, the emotional upheaval overrides the child's ability to retrieve the information from the short-term memory.

Studying the wrong way

Sometimes a child may have used the to prepare for a test. For instance, a child revises for a spelling test by spelling the words out orally, but when faced with the blank lined sheet of paper, he cannot seem to get the spellings right. In such a case, it may be a good idea for parents to give him a mock written spelling test at home the night before.

Too much pressure

Parents can unwittingly pressure their child to such an extent that they cannot perform. Even before they have answered the first question, they are worried that they might not meet their parents' expectations of their performance. This anxiety obviously steals their concentration and they perform poorly. Parents should try not to lay too much stress on the importance of doing well in the test. No doubt, it is important, but if your child is going to be so petrified of failing that it affects his performance, how does it help? Try to make them look at tests from another point of view, as a method for teachers to assess whether their teaching is effective. Reassure them that you're sure that they'll do better next time.

Lack of confidence

Other children are just not confident enough. There are many children who revise the material again and again because they are convinced they don't know it well enough. Even though they are so well prepared, the same children will be twiddling their pencils between their fingers, desperately thinking about what to write during an exam. This happens because when they see even a couple of questions to which the answer doesn't immediately come to mind, they are convinced that they know nothing and accept defeat without even trying to recall the information.

Studying is 'uncool'

By the time they are teenagers, it's not considered 'cool' to study too hard for tests. As a result, studying is usually done at the last minute and naturally leads to panic. Children cannot be expected to absorb information if they are constantly wondering if they'll be able to finish studying the material before the night is over. The best that parents can do is to make their children put up the test schedule on the calendar so they know how many days they have to go before the test. It's another matter entirely whether children actually look at the calendar.

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Varsha Tyagi
Varsha Tyagi.7 years ago
My kid usually studies well within time and seems fine at home. But his performance in exams are not that great given that he is an intelligent child. Will try your solutions - could be the stress. Have planned to share it with other parents and friends in the next parent’s teacher’s interaction in my kid’s school Orchids International.
shiv kumar
shiv kumar.11 years ago
the article is very informative and thought -provocative. it provides a good insight of what goes on in the mind of the child when he prepares for the test or interview. the article will serve a useful purpose if the school authorities could pick up a or two things from the article and revise their methodologies for testing the abilities of the children.
Reply years ago
i have already given my comments on this article, but i was disappointed to see that there were no other views which gives the impression that people do not bother to share their views and experiences on such articles which are of crucial importance for scientific development of their child's personality.. shiv kumar
AG.11 years ago
ok... we now know the "why" so what can we do to help children that are experiencing test anxiety?
Purnima.11 years ago
i wish parents whose children have had test anxiety would share their experiences. my child suffers from test anxiety and actually gets fever the day before or on the day of the exam. at first i did not want to jump to this conclusion as she is a fairly good student. when this happened three times in a row - ie. at every exam every 6 months i came to this conclusion. apart from boosting her confidence and telling her "she can do it" and ofcourse giving her a paracetamol to bring the fever down what else can be done for the long term? please advise.
Exam fever
Exam fever.11 years ago
i have been educated and i am an educator . so i have seen both perspectives 1st hand and am justified commenting .

an exam in my opinion is no judge of your life. it dosent determine that you live or die. so don't get so harried abpout it . relax that paper is not going to snap you up in a gulp.

secondly i donot agree that tennagers feel that it is so called 'uncool' to study . i know of a kid who has a great social life yet has starring grades . yet there are the paradox of kids who are homebound and are medicore.

donot limit your kids social life just because he is not doing well. there are many other factors . most importantly to do well , he has to be foccused about his aims and achievements and should try to deter failure believing that it is not the end . howeever donot gloat over successes too.

i agree that there is prestige associated with the iit but how many kids who are their graduates do we haer of as names . remember that they also heve a fair share of drop outs .

i mayself am no graduate of a renownd uni , but i am travelling with my profession .

also many parents have the attidude of talking about and comparing their kids grades and achiveements and then telling their kids
' xyz can achieve this why can't you ' remeber that your kid is no abc or xyz . he is who he is .

i keep to the attidude that my kids education is my business and i donot discuss the issue with other arents as well .
Ayush.11 years ago
i have a kid of 9th class, he should be the first person to ask about exam fever. he use to get very nervous during exams, he was lack in confidence but not any more, now he takes his exams confidently. he prepares for his exams through web-based assessment tool perfectly designed for school kids by 24x7guru, this tool provides him the feedback after each test by which he can rectify his mistakes and can do better in the exam. check 24x7guru site…….. don’t forget to have a look on “destination nasa challenge”
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