Relax, It's Only a Test

New research shows that teaching kids how to cope with exam stress can lead to better grades

Jamie Chung for TIME

The sophomore sat paralyzed as the minutes ticked by. One hour later, time was up for the exam in a statistics class at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and he turned in his work: it was completely blank, save for his name.

As any parent or teacher knows, tests can create crippling anxiety in students, and anxious kids can perform below their true abilities. But new research in cognitive science and psychology is giving us a clearer understanding of the link between stress and performance and allowing experts to develop specific strategies for helping kids manage their fears.

These potential...

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