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Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Beginning April 30 until May 4, students in the Norwalk City School District and across the state of Ohio will be taking the Ohio Achievement Tests.

It is important that all students be in attendance during this week. Please refrain from taking your child out of school or planning a family vacation during this time. Tests will be given to students in grades three through eight.

These state mandated tests are important and are used to measure the achievement levels of individual students, as well as serving as an accountability measure for schools and school districts across the state.

Unfortunately because of the "high stakes" nature of these tests, test anxiety among students has become much more prevalent. While a certain degree of test anxiety is normal, some students experience severe anxiety which negatively affects performance.

In this age of No Child Left Behind, there is no escaping state-mandated tests. There are, however, effective strategies to reduce test anxiety. The following strategies may assist students in reducing test anxiety:

Be sure you are well rested before the exam.

Eat nutritious food before taking the test

Exercise will help reduce tension and stimulate thinking.

Allow enough time to get to class without feeling rushed.

Develop a positive attitude. Tell yourself that you can do this and believe in yourself.

Wear a watch or be sure you can see a clock.

Scan the test and answer the questions you know first.

Don't panic if you cannot think of an answer and do not let that throw off your concentration for the rest of the test. If you answer other questions, you just might trigger the memory for the missed answer.

Remember, that while these achievement tests are important, they are only one way that your child's academic performance is measured.

Dr. Wayne Babcanec is the superintendent of Norwalk City Schools. His column appears every other Friday. For more information on Norwalk City Schools, call (419) 668-2779.

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