The Success Story Part Two
Carolina is a student who suffers from test anxiety. She is a freshman involved in sports, so her schedule is very busy. Carolina is a good student who does all of her homework, yet when the test comes, “it looks like it is written in another language.” That is exactly what happens with test anxiety. You take great notes and pay attention in class, complete all of your homework, and yet, when the test comes, it is as if she did nothing to prepare.
Test anxiety can be very stressful and frustrating. I did not think, originally, that her test anxiety was that serious because of the notes she took and the work she did while I was working with her. It turns out that it was extremely bad!
The anxiety comes from years and years of failing when it matters most. It becomes a wet blanket that is very difficult to get out from under. When dealing with extreme cases of test anxiety, parents need to be patient. Test taking is all about confidence in one’s self. That confidence needs to be grown and fostered so that it is sustainable when the student is working on their own, like working on a test.
With Carolina, it took extra tutoring sessions where I gave her additional work. Carolina hated to have to do extra work but it definitely paid off. Carolina had to do the extra work on her own. I would correct it when we met and she was forced to see the errors she was continuously making. Carolina needed to think her way through the problems, come up with her own conclusions, and be confident about them. Because she did the extra work on her own she had ownership over her work. She took pride in her work and it made her more determined when she did something wrong. It focused her to correct the mistakes she would make. Eventually – and this happens at different times for different students – she eliminated her mistakes. This process, long as it may be, really allows a student to build the confidence in themselves that they need.
Now I am happy to say that Carolina has a solid B in her class. She still has some tests where she doesn’t do as well as she should, and that is ok. This is a continuous process. Carolina is a completely different student when it comes to math, and she is bound and determined to get better each day.
I am so very proud of the strides she has made to better herself. Good things come to those who work hard for them. Carolina is a success story because of her tremendous battle with test anxiety. It would cripple her and now she faces it with confidence. Carolina’s success will become even greater as she continues to work towards her goals.