12 Books to Help Kids Overcome Test Anxiety

Do you know a child that underperforms on tests no matter how much they study and prepare? Do they struggle to concentrate during exams because they are preoccupied with thoughts of failing?  Do they find it difficult to recall information that previously came to them with ease? If this sounds like a child you know, they might be experiencing test anxiety. Although it’s normal for kids to feel some degree of anxiety about taking a test, when that anxiety impedes their ability to perform, test anxiety is the likely culprit.

Test anxiety is the uneasiness and nervousness that some children experience before, during, or after taking a test. When kids are experiencing test anxiety they might complain of a stomachache, headache, sweaty palms, racing thoughts, and heart palpitations. Some kids with extreme anxiety get nauseas to the point of throwing up.

There are several reasons why a child might experience test anxiety. It could be because they are worriers and are prone to being anxious. Sometimes kids are perfectionists and base their worth on high test scores. This can lead them to put an immense amount of pressure on themselves to perform. Additionally, children with learning disorders tend to be more prone to test anxiety.

In order to help children overcome test anxiety, we must empower them with knowledge. When kids develop an understanding of what test anxiety is and can recognize the tell tale signs in themselves, they will be better prepared to manage their test anxiety. In addition, we need to show children that they are not alone in their experience. This will encourage them to ask for help when faced with test anxiety.

Fortunately, there are several kid-friendly books to help children learn how to deal with test anxiety. Here is a list of books to introduce and discuss test anxiety with children:

The Anti-Test Anxiety Society

Recommended for Ages 4-8


Anti-Test Anxiety SocietyBertha Billingsworth (BB) is a happy kid until she has to take a test. To her, the word test stands for
Terrible Every Single Time because she always does poorly on her tests. That’s until her teacher invites her to become a member of the Anti-Test Anxiety Society. BB’s teacher helps change her perspective on taking tests by teaching her effective test taking strategies and how to relax. Now when BB takes a test she is calm, cool, and confident!

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

Recommended for Ages 4-8

The Girl Who Never Made MistakesBeatrice Bottomwell is a nine-year-old girl who never makes mistakes. She is used to doing everything to perfection. Then one day the unthinkable happens. Beatrice makes a mistake! What will she do? How will she handle it?

 

It’s Test Day, Tiger Turcotte  

Recommended Age 4-8It's Test Day, Tiger Turcotte

Tiger Turcotte is anxious about taking the big second grade test. He struggles to fall asleep the night of the test and during the test he is so anxious he can’t even decide what circle to mark when he has to select his race. Will he be able to finish the test?

Testing Miss Malarkey

Recommended for Ages 6-9

Testing Miss MalarkeyThe new school year brings standardized testing to every school and Miss Malarkey’s school is no different. Teachers, students, and parents are frantically getting ready for the big test by teaching students how to relax and giving them test taking tips. Kids and adults alike will laugh aloud as Finchler and O’Malley poke fun at the commotion surrounding standardized testing.

The Big Test

Recommended for Ages 6-9

The Big TestMrs. Hartwell has done a great job preparing her class for the big test. She has taught them how to follow directions and how to fill in the bubbles on the test. She even reminded her students to eat a healthy breakfast before the test. There’s only one thing that Mrs. Hartwell forgot to do: she forgot to teach her students how to RELAX!

Suzie Bear and the Social Studies Test

Recommended for Ages 6 to 9

Suzie Bear and the Social Studies TestEven though Suzie Bear studied for her social studies test and was well prepared, on the day of the test her mind went completely blank! Her paws began to shake and she couldn’t write a word. To Suzie’s surprise, she failed her test. How could this happen? Suzie began to worry about an upcoming test she had to take. She reached out to her family and teacher for help to make sure she doesn’t fail that test as well. Will Suzie be able to pass the test?

Worry Warriors: Anxious Adam Braves The Test

Recommended for Ages 7-10

Worry WarriorsAdam is dyslexic and has to work extra hard to read. He’s also not a very good test taker and is a nervous wreck during his school’s BIG test. What if he fails? Will he have to repeat fourth grade? Will everyone think he’s not smart?

Tyler Tames The Testing Tiger

Recommended for Ages 7-10

Tyler Tames the Testing TigerIn Tyler Tames The Testing Tiger, the main character, Tyler, uses sports strategies to “tame the testing tiger.” This book provides helpful strategies for parents, teachers, and counselors who want to help kids strengthen their test taking skills.

Outsmart Test Anxiety

Recommended for Ages 7-12

Outsmart Test AnxietyOutsmart Test Anxiety is a workbook to help kids who struggle with test anxiety. Through therapeutic art and writing exercises, kids process and learn to conquer their anxiety.  They also learn studying and test-taking strategies.

Study Smart Junior: Studying Your Way to Stardom

Recommended for ages 11 and upStudy Smart Junior

Being prepared for a test is an effective way to overcome test anxiety. In this story, young Babette and her friends learn good study habits, test preparation skills, how to take notes, and more!

Mathsketball: A Story of Test Anxiety

Recommended for Ages 12-17Mathsketball

Ethan excels in almost every subject, except math. When it comes time to take the test, the numbers turn into some kind of alien language. His best friend, Jack, helps him to relax by playing a quick game of Mathsketball. Ethan also receives relaxation tips from his teacher, Mrs. Alexander. Will this be enough to help Ethan overcome his test anxiety?

Tapping Away My Worries 

Recommended for children of all ages, parents, and teachers

Tapping Away My WorriesTapping Away My Worries is a two part book about Emotional Freedom Techniques for children, parents, and teachers. The first part of the book is a story about a boy named Ryan who gets teased at school and how his Auntie teaches him EFT. The second part of the book is an EFT manual for parents, teachers, and caregivers to learn and use the tapping technique.

What are some books you recommend for helping children overcome test anxiety?

Kiddie MattersVisit Yanique for more resources and activities at Kiddie Matters, Facebook, Instagram, or her TeachersPayTeachers Store.

 

12 Books to Help overcome Test Anxiety

Bibliotherapy, Book Suggestions, Test Anxiety
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Mental Fills
    March 7, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Wow! Comprehensive list I will be using a my new go to. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Erika
    March 19, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    I love how this book list applies to younger children as well and not just students who take standardized tests. Great job!

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