VOLANTE AND DELUCA: Reduce children’s test anxiety with these tips — and a re-think of what testing means

Louis Volante, Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education, co-wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about confronting and minimizing the effects of testing on young students’ anxiety.

The piece was co-written with Christopher DeLuca, Associate Professor in Classroom Assessment in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University.

Volante and DeLuca write:

The term “test anxiety” typically conjures up images of a high school or university student obsessing over an upcoming exam.

Certainly, older students have been the focus of more than a half a century of research examining test and assessment anxiety and its impact on grades. Researchers know that such test anxiety generally has a negative impact on academic achievement.

Yet we also know schools and parents are recognizing anxiety in younger children. Researchers have probed how, in particular, a rise in test anxiety in schools corresponds to an increase in the use of standardized testing increasingly mandated for accountability and evaluation purposes.

Coupled with growing awareness of responding to mental health challenges in schools, educators and policy-makers need to understand how to confront and minimize the effects of testing on students’ anxiety.

In the big picture, current assessment methods must adapt to reflect contemporary knowledge of both children’s diverse cultural contexts and a more nuanced understanding of developmental competencies.

Continue reading the full article here.

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