LGS and YKS exams are important assessments that students have to deal with throughout their education life. Although children’s feelings of anxiety before the exam increase their motivation for discipline and learning, excessive anxiety affects their success negatively. The fact that the exams coincide with the adolescence period causes students to go through this process more difficult.
What is Exam Anxiety and What are its Causes?
exam anxiety; It is a combination of intense anxiety, anxiety and panic feelings that start before the exam and can continue after the exam, which can prevent the effective use of the learned information during the exam. Anxiety, unlike fear, is a reaction to stimuli that do not exist in concrete terms, that we develop in our minds entirely in line with possibilities. Fear is the presence of an external stimulus that causes us to be afraid.
One of the reasons why children experience exam anxiety is that they do not feel academically competent, cannot study in a planned and programmed manner, and cannot recognize the test technique. Intense pressure from their families or close circles, having high expectations for themselves, not being able to meet their physiological needs (insomnia, nutrition), thoughts such as “My parents will love me less if I fail the exam” or “People will judge me if I fail in this exam”. Having children increases their test anxiety. However, being worried about what will happen during and after the exam, perceiving the exam as a dangerous element, and facing some emotional problems arising from adolescence can unfortunately reduce their exam performance.
What Are the Symptoms of Exam Anxiety?
The occurrence of intense physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, shivering, chills, itching, dry mouth, nausea, stomachache, headache, fainting, going to the toilet frequently before exams show that children have difficulty in coping with exam stress and need emotional support.
In addition to physical symptoms, feeling extremely restless, tense, angry, anxious or hopeless indicates that children develop negative beliefs about the exam. These negative emotions cause them to lose their self-confidence, not be able to use their time effectively, and make attention mistakes in exams.
In addition, behaviors such as not wanting to go to school, forgetting to do homework, delaying studying, prioritizing different activities, leaving practice exams unfinished or not taking them at all show that they are deviating from their exam-related goals and that they cannot manage their exam preparation processes properly.
How Can Parents Help Their Children?
It is very important for children to feel loved, valued and accepted unconditionally during the exam preparation process. For this reason, not comparing their children with their peers or siblings, avoiding negative criticism and labels, and not being overly oppressive and perfectionistic will help their children get through this process in a healthier way. At the same time, trying to motivate their children with positive reinforcements, behaving empathetically and understandingly, and creating a safe and peaceful family environment will help children to increase their self-confidence, to pass the exam more easily, and to reduce their negative beliefs about the exam.