Q:

My 10-year-old son freezes up whenever he takes a test. The teacher offered him more time, but it did not help. It just gave him more time to be panicked. Is there anything that can I do to help him overcome test anxiety? -- Very Anxious

A:

The best way for children in elementary school to feel confident before taking a test is simply for them to keep up with their work and make sure they understand what is being studied. Reviewing sufficiently is another one of the big secrets to facing tests with confidence -- not panic. Your son needs to review every evening. In fact, over-learning material is one way to reduce test anxiety.

Another helpful hint in avoiding test anxiety is knowing what will be on the test. Teachers usually review for tests. During the review period, teach your son to write down and underline anything the teacher identifies with "You really need to know this!" He should also complete and review all study guides that the teacher uses in class.

Some anxious students find it helpful to make up tests from study guides and chapter questions to practice taking a test so they realize that they know the material.

These techniques should be helpful unless your son's problem is really one of an inability to learn the material.