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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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You will probably think this is silly. However, my granddaughterwill

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You will probably think this is silly. However, my granddaughterwill be in her senior year of hight school this year. She takes all excelled classes and has a 4-0 average. She wants to go to college to be an engineer. She is in Calculus, physics, etc this year. Problem: She has a terrible time taking tests. I don't know if she shuts down or what. She has perfect attendance and with her 4-0 average she doesn't have to take the test at the end of the quarter. She has taken her ACT and scored 22 on it. She is going to take it again to try to get a higher score. What can we do to prepare her for the next test. She really needs an academic schlorshp. I am the grandma :-). Susie Brown. Any books or thoughts to help her will be so ap
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

Your question is not silly at all and I'd be happy to help you with it!

It sounds like you have a very smart granddaughter! It is not uncommon for intelligent people to know all the material yet freeze up on tests. Test taking can create a pressure cooker atmosphere which for some people is difficult to handle.

What may help your granddaughter if she is anxious is learning how to relax her body so she can focus. When someone is anxious, then tend to become distracted and more upset by how they feel. So learning to relax can help the person focus better. Here is a link that your granddaughter can use to learn progressive relaxation. The more she practices, the easier it will be to relax herself quickly and easily:

She can also try the following steps during her test (you can give her a copy of this to help her):

1. Take time to look over the whole test before starting. That way you know what to expect and she will feel less anxious.

2. Determine how long you can spend on each question. Most tests have a time limit. By giving yourself an idea of how long you can spend on each answer, you can relax and spend time on each question.

3. Be sure to read each question thoroughly so you don't waste time going back to it and re reading it. That can lessen the anxiety and make you more time efficient.

4. Stick to the sequence of questions and don't randomly answer questions. It is too easy to miss questions and you will take a lot of time searching to be sure you didn't miss any.

5. When you are not sure of the answer, use the process of elimination on multiple choice. Check off the ones you are sure are not the answer then pick between the ones that are left using what you know.

Most of all, realize that no matter how you do, you made the effort and are trying your best. And you are not alone in your situation. And with practice, you can improve your test taking skills.

If you have more questions, please let me know.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or more stars? Anything lower results in a negative against my record (ratings are confusing, sorry!). And your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!

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