Are you and your teenager desperate to escape the clutches of SAT or ACT anxiety? It can be done! We’ve coached parents and students for years—even those who’ve never had trouble with test anxiety before.
What is it about these tests? The stakes are high, pacing is tough, and the content is wide-ranging. It’s unlike any other test they’ve taken! In addition, kids (and, let’s be honest, their parents) talk and get caught up in comparing their scores to others’. Is it any wonder they feel anxious about these tests? Fortunately, there’s a lot they can do to take back control.
Kids who determine a realistic plan and stick to it greatly reduce their anxiety and ultimately perform better on test day.
How do they do it?
The other benefit of dedicated practice is improved school work. That leads to more confidence, which will definitely affect their ACT/SAT performance!
The road to your child’s best score will likely include some bumps, pit stops, and detours. This can be frustrating in the moment, but reframing those interruptions as part of the learning process will put them back on track.
Attitude is everything, and these tips will help keep the focus on progress:
Chances are good that you’ll feel anxious, scared, frustrated, or helpless at some point during this process. That’s totally normal—these tests are a big deal! The key is not to pass that anxiety on to your child.
Think beyond just your words:
Once you’ve reduced (or at least contained!) your own anxiety, you can help your child get some perspective on the tests. While test scores are a very important part of the college admissions process, they are not the only part. The score is a snapshot of what your child was able to do one Saturday morning, not a complete assessment of their ability and potential.
Do you know what’s just as important to schools?
Becoming fixated on the scores from one test will not leave space to develop these other areas. Helping your child find balance will actually lead to better scores!
While you’re hearing other parents brag about their child’s test scores or panic about their child’s low scores keeping them out of college altogether, your child is hearing the same from their peers. Here’s the thing: the fib factor is high when discussing test scores. Sure, some students actually do get a 34 with no test prep; but there’s no shame if that’s not how it goes for your child.
So how can you help your child block out the noise?
Managing anxiety around the ACT and SAT enables students to do their best work. It takes vigilance, but the payoff will extend well beyond test day. We’re happy to help you and your student navigate, just give us a call!