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Less-Stress Test Tips

This weeks students in 2nd through 8th grade will participate in the Iowa testing. Tests are important because they monitor the student’s level of progress. We may believe stress about test-taking occurs prior to the day of the test, but on the contrary, the stress actually begins when the test starts. Just keep in mind, no matter what the test subject may be, YOU can be ready. Here are 3 ways parents can help students achieve a positive test day:

1.Brain food.

Eat a good, nutritious breakfast - fruits and protein can help stabilize your system and lower your stress factor. Foods to avoid are sugar, processed products and white bleach flour which can cause mood swings and disturb your brain connections. A good night’s sleep also helps our brain maintain the right body temperature to stay alert and focused.

2.Read the Questions Carefully.

Understanding the question before writing an answer will avoid second-guessing yourself. Keep a good pace, but don’t rush through a question. This may waste your time redoing any work. Before committing to an answer, make sure you understand what’s being asked and have read all the possible answers. Mark the questions you’re unsure of, and come back to them later. If you have extra time after completing the test, review the questions you had the most difficulty with.


Oxygen intake is important and necessary in clearing your mind to strengthening your thinking skills. Your deep breath should come from your diaphragm, meaning as you inhale, your stomach expands. As you exhale, your stomach collapses. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little bit of stress in the beginning. We all feel it! The key is don’t allow it to dominate your thoughts and stress you even more. REMEMBER TO BREATH. Correct breathing will maintain your focus throughout the examination.

Lastly, as soon as you complete the test, give yourself a pat on the back for completing the test. Honestly, there’s no way in changing your test now, so try not to think about it for awhile, and give our mind a rest. Enjoy some quality time with yourself - together with friends and/or family.

For more information on test taking techniques, read the article “Test Stress: Ten Terrific Test-Taking Tips.”

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