How can I can Take Tests - For Kids! reduce students' fears?

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I Can Take Tests - For Kids
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This compact disc is designed for 2nd through 6th grade students. Even young students are required to take many tests.  Some do not test well because of fear or anxiety.

This program does not provide the content of specific tests. There are many teaching aids which do that.  Anxiety about taking tests is more basic.  It is like trying to fall asleep on a bumpy pillow.  Anxious thoughts “freeze the mind.”

Early in the 20th century, the Russian psychologist, Pavlov, found he could change a dog's behavior by conditioning.  American psychologists later found humans could condition away many of their own anxieties by combining muscle relaxation and mental visualization.  Even young students can learn how to imagine scenes in their minds and can apply the lessons learned.

I believe that combining deep relaxation with repeated visualization reroutes thoughts about taking tests from the "emotional part" of the central brain to the "thought-and-plan-processing parts" of the frontal lobes of the brain.  Then students relax and focus on completing the test questions.

This CD has seven audio tracks.  The first two audio tracks explain how the program works, describe muscle tensing and relaxing exercises and describe the mental visualization exercises.  Tracks 3-7 each provide one step from hearing that a test is coming soon through taking the test.  It is important to repeat each track enough times to visualize that step calmly before moving on to the next step in the program.

This CD is specifically designed for elementary students.  The vocabulary in the narration has been simplified and the sentences shortened to reduce the Flesch Readability Grade Level Score from 5.5 to 3.5 when compared with the other test anxiety program in this series, Building Confidence for Taking Tests!

A pre-check on how your student feels about taking tests follows the comments below.

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Comments from the retired elementary teacher who encouraged this CD's development: "Teachers can always name children who are good students, but who freeze up on tests. Other students may not be good students, but could test better if they believe they can. Top students who feel the pressure to do well, either intrinsically or extrinsically, may be able to relax after learning these techniques. Testing has become more “high stakes” in recent years. This program may help testing become a more positive experience for children."

Comments from elementary teachers where the program was tested: One teacher wrote, "I would say that my students did perform better on their tests this year; all students finished in the allotted time which hasn't happened before."  Another teacher commented, "They sat still during tests and I didn't see any spacing off or looking around the room.  Regardless of test anxiety level, all the students listening to the program benefitted from learning and practicing the tensing-relaxing and visualization skills as general coping skills."  A teacher noted that she "did not know of another program providing such coping skills -- and even she or many parents might find the CDs helpful."  Finally, a teacher wrote, "Reminding students of their new skills reduced fighting on the playground."

Building Confidence for Tests - For Kids! Pretest.

Please select how you feel, or would feel, at each time.

1. The teacher says a test is coming up.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

2. It is the night before or morning of the test.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

3. I start taking the test.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

4. I am worried or distracted during the test.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

5. I recheck the answers to the test.

1 - Always Calm
2 - Usually Calm
3 - OK
4 - Usually Nervous
5 - Always Nervous

Total Score from 25 Possible Points *

* If your total score is 15 or above or if you scored "4" or "5" on two or more individual items, this program may help you.