Tips for Helping Anxious Students Manage NAPLAN Exams


Teachers devote a lot of time to preparing for NAPLAN exams in class, and many students receive additional tutoring. The anticipation built through months of preparation can cause anxiety in some students. 

In one study conducted by Edith Cowan University, 90 per cent of teachers claimed that their students experienced stress over NAPLAN!

It’s important for students to learn how to manage anxiety so they can perform at their best. This also ensures that the data collected for NAPLAN is accurate. 

In the lead up to the exams there are several things you can do to help your student deal with anxiety. 

Acknowledge Negative Feelings

It’s important to validate children’s feelings. Being able to openly talk about negative emotions such as anxiety and worry builds trust. This also allows kids to develop coping strategies.

When discussing exam anxiety, reassure your child that their feelings are perfectly normal. Help them to express their thoughts and feelings by asking questions. Together come up with some ideas for reducing stress. Learning how to help themselves is very empowering for children.

Focus on Personal Achievement 

Kids develop anxiety around exams because they fear they won’t do well. This is a major concern for both high-achieving students and kids who are struggling. You can help alleviate this worry by focusing on personal achievement.

Reassure your child that they don’t have to get the highest marks in the class, they only need to do their best. When they try their hardest, they have already achieved something important, regardless of the marks they get. Talk to them about determination and resilience, and how these qualities are essential for success.

Look Closely at the Questions 

When kids are nervous, they often skim over information and don’t interpret it correctly. One way to avoid this is to go through some sample questions with your child and simply discuss what the question is about.

Read the questions together and then ask your child to repeat what each question is asking in their own words. This is a simple and effective way of helping students learn to interpret questions. Kids who understand how to interpret questions will feel more confident and prepared.

Start the Day Well

Rushing to get to school on days when your child has NAPLAN exams is guaranteed to add to their anxiety. You can ensure the day starts smoothly by checking that bags are packed and uniforms are ready the night before.

It’s important for children to get a good night’s sleep before the tests. Try to avoid last minute studying as students perform better when they have a chance to relax. A healthy dinner and breakfast gives kids the fuel they need to concentrate in exams.

These tips will help your child feel relaxed and focused for NAPLAN.

Other articles you might enjoy

A Guide to Understanding Your Child’s NAPLAN Results

5 Unusual Tips to Help You Prepare for Exams