It is the time of year when high schoolers are getting ready to take the SAT and are finishing up their hard-earned studying for the famous exam. One thing that has been noted by therapists in Orlando is the anxiety that a young teenager can feel from the pressures of needing to perform on the SAT. There is an overwhelming pressure when it comes to the SAT to “pass” and “do well” due to the notion that a good, passing, score will award a teenager the ability of a great college.
Anxiety therapy and test stress therapy in Orlando have noted that a student at the age of 17 or 18 taking the SAT is found to do worse on the exam when they feel as though their “future” is riding on the results of this exam. This in turn can cause discouragement for continuing education and allow for the perception of failure or not being good enough to start to sink in which can impact the successful fulfillment the teenager can feel in later life.
To navigate the SAT, it is through cognitive behavioral therapy and a simple process of reframing the perception the exam has. Yes, it is an important exam to take but also reassuring the test taker that it is not the only way to succeed. If your teenager is getting ready to take the SAT, try sitting down with them and asking how they are feeling about the exam or where their stress levels are at.
As a teenager, the stress levels can be just as high as a normal functioning adult. Give them support and guidance and most of all reassurance. Common things you can do as a parent to help mitigate the mental effects that the SAT can have on your child and moving forward:
If test stress anxiety is getting to your student, team them up with a stress expert. They can learn strategies for meditation, focus, and nerve-calming techniques. Pairing these techniques with good daily self-care can set the stage for a good testing experience and mindset. Call an Orlando anxiety expert for help if you want to find out more.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.