Ann Dolin: The thought of a math test can make even the most confident student stressed out, but for some, the feelings associated with math go far beyond garden-variety stress. When this happens, you need to take action.
The most important thing you can do when you see your child struggling, is to intervene right away. Seek after school help from the teacher or hire a tutor who can patiently break down the concepts and fill in any gaps. Math is the one subject that is nearly 100% cumulative. Students must have a strong foundation or they will fall behind.
Test anxiety increases in any subject, but especially when kids sit down to take a test knowing they are not fully prepared. The best way for a student to prepare is to make a practice test and solve the problems as if it is the real exam. This allows the student to know which problems he can not solve and to practice accordingly.
If your child still feels stressed on the day of the test, studies show it helps when students write down their worst fears right before the exam. Students, who do this, perform just as well as they are non-anxious peers.
Anxious students, who do not take the time to jot down their anxieties, perform poorly in comparison. Whether the negative feelings towards math begin early on or in high school, it's never too late to help your child turn the corner to success.