Low Test Scores

Taking exams and tests is something children are exposed to at a very young age, and lasts well into adulthood, regardless of which profession they choose to pursue. It starts off as spelling or times table tests in elementary, to final exams in junior high, to college entrance tests, graduate school exams, licensing exams, and license renewal exams. Whether they pursue medicine or real estate or cosmetology, exams are inevitable. Some students adjust at a very early age and naturally test well. Many others struggle taking exams for various reasons, and despite maximum preparation, fail to perform at their maximum capacity.

One of the most common reasons why students struggle during exams is exam anxiety. A student can spend weeks and week preparing for an exam, studying all the right material and acing practice exams, however, anxiety eventually kicks in and negatively effects their performance. For some, the anxiety kicks in the night before the exam, keeping the student from being able to get a good night’s sleep and be well rested for their exam. They start having anxiety because they cannot sleep, which makes them even more anxious for the next day. Thinking about the severity of the test and the consequences they will face if they do not perform well causes even further anxiety. During the test, they are tired and unable to focus properly on the questions. The ticking clock heightens their anxiety even further, watching minute by minute pass by, causing them to rush to finish the exam. Students may be doing well then get stuck on one certain question, which leads to a chain reaction of anxiety and pressure during the remainder of the exam.

Similarly depression can also cause poor exam performance. Some of the definitive symptoms of depression include lack of interest, lack of energy, and increased or decreased sleep, both of which can cause poor exam performance. Students suffering from depression will show little interest in their classes and in exam preparation, and this will be reflected in their exam performance. They are apathetic and unconcerned with how they perform on the exam or what a low score or failing grade can result in. In some instances, poor academic perform is the first sign of depression picked up by teachers and reported to parents.

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is another condition which may lead to poor exam performance, this one for more obvious reason. Definitive symptoms of ADHD are easy distractibility, impulsive behaviors, and inability to sit still or focus on a task for long periods of time. These symptoms will affect the student while studying and during the exam itself. Students will procrastinate and delay studying, getting distracted by anything available. These days, every student has a phone in their hand will allows the opportunity for endless distraction. Twitter, snapchat, tiktok, and facebook all get priority over studying. During the exam itself, students may be easily distracted by the hum of the air conditioner or some other background noise, and may shuffle in their seat, unable to sit still and focus for the duration of the exam. They may rush through the exam to get it over with so they can move on with their day.

Lastly, it will be important to get your child testing for learning disabilities. There are specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, reading difficulty or dyscalculia. You can request a neuropsychological evaluation from the school system in writing to help evaluate your child and test for specific learning disabilities. Children struggling with specific learning disabilities may have targeted difficulties in specific subjects such as reading, math or writing requiring specific educational help in those areas provided by the school.

Parents, there are many reasons why your student may be struggling on exams, and it more than likely is a reason other than lack of effort on their behalf. In this case, seeking the proper attention and getting the help your child requires is essential, be it medication, tutoring or behavioral therapy. Most importantly, believe in your child, always encourage them to try their hardest and do their best.

For your child to get better test scores make an appointment by calling us at 609-601-4161