For better or worse, tests — and the anxiety that comes along with them — are a normal part of our education system. Exams give students the opportunity to demonstrate concept mastery, knowledge, memorization skills, and more.

Among their less obvious benefits, tests also provide important opportunities for students to practice healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety. Social and emotional learning (SEL) plays an important role in helping students self-regulate emotions and calm their nerves.

Educators can help students learn to manage or reduce test anxiety with these 10 tips (download a clickable version of this graphic here):

How exams are written can help minimize test anxiety. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently adding to your students’ testing stress by keeping these in mind when creating exams.

Bonus Tips: Test-Writing Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

  • Write test questions clearly and avoid trick questions.
  • Keep the test design/layout in mind — don’t crowd the page with too much information.
  • Use a variety of question types to give students more opportunities to demonstrate what they know in different ways.
  • Add a funny quote or joke to the exam to lighten the mood.

Preparing for an exam isn’t just about good study habits — students also need to learn how to manage test anxiety. SEL helps students learn healthy ways to manage their emotions and calm their nerves so they are able to shine and perform their best. To learn more about how SEL can help students, contact our experts today.