Test stress

I got so worried I forgot my own name!

Does the word “test” make you feel sick? Test stress is something that a lot of kids experience. Luckily, there are many things you can do to feel better on test day.

 How it feels

If you’re feeling worried or scared about tests, you might feel:

  • Your heart pounding
  • You have trouble breathing
  • You’re sweating
  • Like you’re going to throw up
  • Dizzy
  • Like your mind goes “blank”

When the test is over, you might worry that you failed it, and feel afraid to find out your mark.

Test stress tips

  • Be prepared. What are you doing to study for your test?
  • Take some deep breaths to relax you. Try to breathe slowly, in and out (here’s how). You can do this anytime-when you’re studying, before a test or even during a test.
  • Try to remember that tests are only one part of how you will be graded—most teachers also use essays, presentations, artwork and group projects to grade students.
  • If you put pressure on yourself to be perfect all the time, it’s important to know that this just isn’t possible. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and that’s a part of learning.


If test stress is making you lose sleep, your appetite, or giving you nightmares, try talking to a parent, your teacher, or another adult you trust. Don’t forget you can always call us at Kids Help Phone, too.

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Last reviewed: September 2012 by the Kids Help Phone Counselling Team
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Moment of Truth How do you de-stress before a test?

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