Ask the Experts

Test Anxiety

“My daughter has ADHD and has learned techniques for school that have enabled her to do well. However, she suffers from test anxiety, and does poorly on standardized tests such as Regents and SAT. How can we best help her?”

Some girls compensate for their ADHD by developing strategies that mask the symptoms. To ensure she gets a good grade, a girl may become a perfectionist and spend hours taking meticulous notes on every chapter she’s being tested on, or become obsessive-compulsive, and check and recheck her backpack to make sure she has everything.
Some girls compensate for their ADHD by developing strategies that mask the symptoms. To ensure she gets a good grade, a girl may become a perfectionist and spend hours taking meticulous notes on every chapter she’s being tested on, or become obsessive-compulsive, and check and recheck her backpack to make sure she has everything.

Coping with tests involve two steps for people with ADHD: asking for accommodations, and being well prepared.

Many students find that when they are able to take tests without being timed, their anxiety is decreased and they perform better. Accommodations can be made with some standardized test to allow the student more time to take the test. Discuss this possibility with her guidance counselors at school and find out what they recommend.

Preparing well in advance for tests and getting a good night’s sleep before is also essential. Find out what is available in your area for SAT preparation courses. These courses are designed to give students practice at taking the tests and this may also help your daughter feel better prepared and less anxious.



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