With increased focus on critical testing and school accountability measures, test anxiety has become a major problem in schools.
Research by London Metropolitan University in 2015, based on a survey of 8,000 teachers, found that:
- over 90 per cent of teachers agreed that “Many pupils become very anxious/stressed in the time leading up to SATs/public examinations;”
- 76 per cent of primary teachers and 94 per cent of secondary agreed that “Some pupils in this school have developed stress-related conditions around the time of SATs/public exams.”
The NSPCC ChildLine service has also reported a 200% increase in counselling sessions about exam stress in school, and education problems topped the list as the biggest concern in 2013/14.
Symptoms of test anxiety can range from moderate to severe, and whilst some nervousness can motivate a child to perform well, research also shows that higher levels of emotional distress have a direct correlation to reduced academic performance.
This is because anxiety interferes with the cognitive functioning of the mind, causing children to “freeze”. This limits their ability to think clearly, to pay attention or recall information, and when this happens, it can be detrimental to exam performance.
In fact, research suggests that test anxiety lowers overall test results by at least 12%, which can have make a huge difference in student grades and school performance tables.
Providing pupils with tools and strategies to build emotional skills in addition to the core academic work you already provide, means they can fully prepare for critical testing and perform to the best of their ability, and this then reflects positively on school performance overall.
Help For Both Staff and Pupils
Heidi Woodgate works with Primary and Secondary schools in the North Kent and Medway areas, and can work with your pupils on a one-to-one or group basis.
She can also run presentations for your staff from half an hour to half day or full day workshops.
Packages and presentations can also be tailored to the needs of your school.
Please contact us for more information or to book a free 30 minute staff briefing on helping children overcome test anxiety.