7 surprising ways to boost your child’s confidence before a test

7 surprising ways to boost your child’s confidence before a test

After months of learning and weeks of revision, your children’s exams are underway.  An upcoming test or exam can be a stressful time for any student.  Does your grade-schooler get overly stressed on test days?  No matter how well she revised the lessons, but when the day of the test comes, she will suddenly blank out, freeze up, or feel so nervous that she can’t get it together to respond to those questions she knew the answers to just last night?  That’s why we have a saying “an ounce of luck is better than a pound of wisdom”.

If this sounds like your child, she may have a case of test anxiety — that nervous feeling that people sometimes get when they’re about to take a test.

Many students experience some amount of stress and anxiety before and during exams.  However, test anxiety is more severe, and can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.

Because of this, it’s important to know how to identify test anxiety in your child so he or she can learn how to deal with it.

In this article, we will introduce what is test anxiety, how it affects students, and provide some basic tips for parents to help your child feel more at ease with test-taking.

What is test anxiety?

Test anxiety is actually a type of performance anxiety – a feeling someone might have in a situation where performance really counts or when the pressure’s on to do well.  For example, a person might have performance anxiety just before trying out for the school play, singing a solo on stage, getting into position at the pitcher’s mound, stepping onto the platform in a diving meet, or going into an important interview.

Why Do Kids Get Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety is brought on when students are overwhelmed by the fear that they won’t do well on an exam.  These kids are usually anxious to begin with and tend to focus on all the bad things that could go wrong in any given situation.  Test anxiety is common in kids with learning disabilities and also in students who are perfectionists.  We also see test anxiety in those students who base their worth on how well they score on a test.  They put so much pressure on themselves to perform that sometimes they end up psyching themselves out.

What Are Some Symptoms of Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety can affect students physically, cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally.  Like other situations in which a person might feel performance anxiety, test anxiety can bring on “butterflies,” a stomachache, or a headache.  Some people might feel shaky or sweaty, or feel their heart beating quickly as they wait for the test to be given out.  A student with really strong test anxiety may even feel like she might pass out or throw up.  There are a myriad of symptoms and test anxiety manifests itself in different ways for different people.  Here are some common symptoms:

  • Freezing or “going blank” during tests
  • Worrying about forgetting material while studying
  • Feeling like she has never done enough to prepare
  • A feeling of doom or fear of failure during tests or exams
  • Difficulty concentrating while studying for upcoming tests
  • Performing well in class or on homework, but failing to do well when tested
  • A lack of confidence
  • Physical symptoms before a test: test anxiety can result in physical symptoms, including a racing heartbeat, headache, lightheadedness, and even nausea.  Your child may complain of an upset stomach or any of these other symptoms leading up to a test.

For students who struggle with test anxiety, a bit of pre-exam nervousness turns into debilitating feelings of worry, dread, and fear, which can negatively impact performance.

Students can struggle with test anxiety at any age.  For many students, test anxiety rises sharply in students in Grades 2 to 4 and remains high as they move through middle school and high school.

How to help your child minimize test anxiety

In the context of these systemic and long-term issues, parents can intervene to reduce test anxiety for young children in the following ways:

1. Teach test-taking basics

Young children have very little experience taking tests.  Kids may feel empowered simply by talking through basic strategies, such as reading the directions, asking questions about the directions, looking for questions they know they can answer right away, and passing over tricky questions for a moment.  Preparing students to take tests effectively also includes teaching them about test structures — question formats, the rationale of scoring schemes, and common pitfalls with different question types.  

Here are there simple and concrete test-taking strategies parents can give their kids to calm their nerves on test day:

  • Do the easy questions first: Teach your child to go through the test and tackle the simple questions first. Students who do this won’t panic when their classmates sitting around them keep turning pages, and they don’t question whether everyone else is ahead of them because they’ve already given themselves a really quick win.

  • Don’t fret over the hard questions: Once the simple ones are out of the way, there will still be those questions that seem impossible to answer.  Some kids guess the most reasonable answer and move on.  Others fret and waste all of their testing stamina on that question, the rest of the test seems like endless torture.  Kids need to expect a few setbacks. They’re normal. Let your child know no one else knows all the answers either and that’s OK.
  • Sniff the flower, blow out the candle: Ever tell your child to take a deep breath and it sounds like they’re hyperventilating?  It may be useful to teach them how to practice deep breathing because it can counter stress, according to research.  Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which works to calm the body.

2. Reduce anxiety through practice tests

If a teacher is willing to offer practice tests, encourage your child to take them.  If not, review her previous quizzes and tests, and go over the formats together.  Discuss what your child finds confusing about a format and what might make it clearer for her.  Doing a practice test can also let your child learn how to pace herself during the actual test.  Feeling anxious can make some kids race through.  Help her keep track of how long it takes to get through the test leaving enough time to think about and answer each question and review the answers.

3. Avoid the sudden panic by creating a schedule

It can be stressful for your child – and you – to suddenly realize there’s an exam the next day.  By knowing when each test or quiz is scheduled, you can help your middle-schooler get ready in an organized way.  At the start of each month or marking period, ask your child to find out from her teachers the dates of quizzes and tests.  Then mark the dates on a monthly calendar.  Keep track together when each quiz or test is coming up.  Consider creating a homework station, too.  Having an organized, consistent study space may help your child feel more at ease with studying and preparing for tests.

4. Take care of your child’s mental and physical health

Following on from the study and exam calendar, included in this structure should also be time for rest, non-study related activity, and sleep.  As a parent, you can help reduce your child’s mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion when she is under pressure to perform well.  Going for a walk, continuing sports activities, reading a book, or watching a movie can provide a positive release of built-up stress.  Some simple exercises that we suggest parents teach their kids, and be a role model themselves:

  • Do gentle exercises such as taking a quick walk, cycling, swimming, or yoga
  • Gentle exercise increases blood flow to the brain, assists with lowering anxiety levels, and reduces physical tension that can cause aches and pains.
  • Deep breathing, getting 8 hours of sleep per night, and meditation all help maintain our emotional health.

5. Fuel your child’s brain and avoid trigger foods

With all the energy dissipating during exam time, ensuring healthy eating practices is essential too.   Lower the intake of carbs, sugar, caffeine and aim for more proteins, and fresh vegetables and fruit, to optimize concentration and general wellbeing:

  • Eat lean protein (e.g. chicken, fish & eggs…) with carbohydrates that release their energy slowly (e.g. oats, brown rice & green vegetables…)
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. They stimulate the central nervous system and heighten our emotions, leading to greater anxiety.
  • If your kids want something sweet, choose dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa. It helps fight cortisol – the stress hormone – has a relaxing effect on our body and releases endorphins, a natural stress fighter. 

>> Find our more brain-boosting food for your child at: https://blog.e2.com.vn/brain-boosting-food-for-your-child/

6. Bolster confidence

Some kids resort to negative self-talk when faced with test anxiety.  They tell themselves things like “I’m such a failure” or “I’m not smart enough to pass this test.”  Soon they start to believe these negative statements and before you know it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They fail the test.  Giving honest and specific praise can remind your child that she can have success no matter what the outcome of the test.  Success doesn’t have to mean a perfect score. Just doing a good job of preparing is already a win.  So if you notice she’s working hard on preparing for a test, let her know.  Hearing this can help her approach tests with more confidence.  Praise her efforts on daily homework and activities outside of school, too.  This can help her remember past successes when she’s feeling anxious.

> Parents can also take a look at The Simple Technique to Raise Confident Kids – shared by Tony Ngo – our Chairman and Co-founder of Everest Education.

7. Debrief after tests

Talking to your child about how she handled tests can help her feel more in control.  After a test, ask her how it went.  Did she feel prepared?  Was there anything she wishes she’d studied more or harder?  Parents can also talk about this when your child gets the graded test back.  This can help her learn to make her own decisions about how to prepare for tests in the future: “Before the unit test, I should practice using my vocabulary words in a sentence.”  Taking action can help her feel more in control of the situation.  And that could reduce test anxiety going forward.

Should you have any concerns or any topics you want us to cover, feel free to leave your comments below.  You can subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates delivered straight to your inbox, and find more parenting coverage at




PEMDAS – What is it?

PEMDAS – What is it?

How do we solve the problem below?

Should we solve the problem from the right to the left? Or left to right? Or we will multiply first?

To avoid these confusions – we teach students the powerful “spell” – PEMDAS – to help them remember the order of Math operations.

pemdas bai toan mo dau

pemdas thu tu thuc hien phep tinh

pemdas dinh nghia

pemdas thu tu thuc hien phep tinh

pemdas bai toan vi du van dung

PEMDAS is a useful tip that helps children get used to the calculation process instead of just paying attention to finding answers. This approach is shown in Singapore Math. At Everest, Singapore Math “focuses on mathematical problem solving and emphasizes conceptual understanding, skills proficiency, learning of process skills, metacognition and the development of a positive attitude towards mathematics”.

7 Popular Idioms Related To School

7 Popular Idioms Related To School

Native speakers use idioms very often in both speaking and writing. Be proficient in idioms will help students practice English fully accurate as a native.

7 idioms below are commonly used with the school theme – a topic close to them 🙂 Let’s learn!

And don’t forget to get our smart flashcards.


The school theme is one of the many areas of life that students at E2 will be exposed to in English Language Arts courses. Not only help students to evoke worldview, but they also practice English fluently through real stories.
Learn more about English Language Arts courses
How To Say Fractions In English?

How To Say Fractions In English?

How do you say ½, ¾, or other fractions in English?

Math concepts such as fractions can be super confused and cause a great deal of math anxiety if students do not master in the early grades.

Learning fractions in English requires students understand how to say fractions in words. It helps them to solve math problems confidently and use in daily communication. At Everest, we are one of the first using Singapore Math system, which has been proven to be especially effective for young students – the CPA method.

Let’s learn how to say fractions in English in the pictures below!

Learn more about some basic Algebra vocabulary in English here

cach doc phan so bang tieng anh

cach doc phan so bang tieng anh

cach doc phan so bang tieng anh


>> Check out other topic:

5 Benefits When Kids Learn Math In English

Is Secondary School Math Difficult?

Top 10 Amazing Math Learning Centers in Ho Chi Minh city 2020

Top 10 Amazing Math Learning Centers in Ho Chi Minh city 2020

Where should I send my children for extra Math help?  Is there any place in the city that teaches logic Math?

If your child is performing poorly in Maths and is unable to solve any of the Maths problems, parents start to think of sending her to a math center after school so that she can keep up with her peers.  Since Math is one of the most important subjects that indicate success in the future, bringing your child to an extra math class to help her review the concepts that she struggles with is not a bad idea.  As we all know, all the kids in your classroom do not master skills simultaneously.  Some may get it the same day you teach it, while others may get it a few weeks later.  If you don’t have time to give your child extra math help at home, the right centers will give your kids sufficient practice in the areas they need versus random activities.  In addition, learning centers can be used to give students an extension activity to build upon what they already know and connect it to the next skill that will be taught.

But where, and how to know which is the right learning center or extra math class to place your child in?  To save you from wasting money, time, and patience, in this article, we compile a list of 10 learning centers in Ho Chi Minh city that teach Math. 


Mathnasium, headquartered in the U.S, is a global chain of professional and experienced Math learning centers for children aged 4 – 15.  Mathnasium Method has been designed and developed by Larry Martinek – an American Math Professor.  Mathnasium Method has been applied in a number of public and private schools, as well as Math learning centers across the U.S. over the last 40 years.  Mathnasium Vietnam began operating in HCM City in March 2011.  They are now having more than 20 learning centers across the country.

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • The learning plan is customized to address each student’s needs
  • Textbooks and homework available in both English and Vietnamese
  • Their monopoly ability assessment test pinpoints learning strengths and weaknesses of students
  • They have proprietary teaching materials so students can not take home or copy. Your student leaves all of his work there.
  • Lack of interaction with classmates: students spend most of their time working on their own problems and raising their hands if they get stuck.
  • Do not have Math courses for high school students.
2. Kumon

Kumon is an after-school education provider that specializes in an after-school math and reading programs for preschool to high school students.  They apply the teaching model franchised from Japanese, where children are given the opportunity to attend Kumon centers twice each week throughout the year for approximately 20-30 minutes per subject and complete daily assignments at home on non-center days.

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Enhance the self-learning ability of children from an early age
  • Worksheets are broken down the mathematical process in such manageable units so that students can do most of the work independently
  • Individual instruction for each student to learn at her own pace
  • Kumon’s teaching method is based on repetition: Practice makes perfect. Children repetitively do a series of worksheets for many times, all while being timed. Therefore, students can do math problems very quickly, but they don’t get the “Why” behind the concept. 
  • Students at Kumon can be super fast at arithmetic, yet the school doesn’t cover that much of problem-solving, 
  • Lack of interaction and fun activities
  • Do not have Math courses for high school students.

UCMAS is an after-school Math program based on Mental Math and Abacus for children aged 4-14 years.  The program is based on the ancient, simple but powerful Abacus tool that provides countable beads for children to visualize numbers.   Children learn to manipulate those beads to perform arithmetic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Highlights for parents to consider:

    • Effective for children to develop an inclination towards numbers and become comfortable in complex calculations.
    • The UCMAS program incorporates and enhances Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic/Tactile learning styles in each child.  The abacus method teaches children to gradually visualize beads & calculate in their brains. 
    • The program does not focus that much on reading skills, thus students may find difficulties when moving on to learn different concepts of Math, such as word problems or geometry.
    • Do not have Math courses for high school students.


4. Everest Education 

Everest Education is an after-school learning center founded by Harvard and Stanford graduates.  Everest offers Math and English enrichment courses, test prep, college admissions consulting, private tutoring, as well as camps to students from Grade 1 to Grade 12  through the network of learning centers, partner schools, and online. All courses at Everest are taught in English 100%, thus will be the best fit for students in international, bilingual, integrated programs, as well as those who want to study in an international environment.

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Teach Math in English: students learn Math and improve their English skills at the same time
  • Apply Singapore Math methodology – CPA method – in every lesson: students master math concepts throughout 3 stages Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract
  • Students learn to apply Math in their real life
  • Provide advanced Math and test prep courses such as SAT, IGCSE, IB…
  • Provide online Math courses for provincial students and students who don’t have the chance to learn offline
  • Customize study plan for each student – students can learn at their own plan
  • Do not have Math courses for kindergarten and young primary children.
  • Students need to have basic English skills to sit in classes, otherwise, they will have to do tutoring.
5. Abacus Master

Pretty similar to UCMAS, Abacus Master teaches young students to do mental math calculations based on the Soroban abacus method.  Abacus Master Vietnam is a franchise of the global Abacus Master system, which presents in more than 27 countries.  AbacusMaster’s curriculum includes computer-based visualization practice and exams which will accelerate and strengthen student’s capability of visualizing abacus movements in their mind.

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Abacus Master’s program has been authorized and became popular in many countries, especially effective for children who need to sharpen concentration and memory skills.
  • Children master basic math operations and can do mental math very rapidly without calculators.
  • The curriculum is divided into different levels 
  • Flexible learning timeline and schedule
  • Suitable for primary and early middle schoolers only.  Students may need to find a different place to study when it comes to more complex Math concepts such as trigonometry, vector, or function… 

IMATHS is a brand-new Math program under ILA – teaching logic math for students from 4 to 10 years old. IMATHS program is designed to develop students in 5 key areas: Intelligence (IQ), Emotion (EQ), Social skills (SQ), Creativity (CQ), and Language (LQ).

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Teach Math in English: students learn Math and improve their English skills at the same time
  • Curriculum is designed based on Cambridge textbooks
  • Student can practice Math online on IXL website
  • Apply CPA method: students master math concepts throughout 3 stages Concrete – Pictorial – AbstracT
  • Do not have Math courses for secondary and high school students
7. Intertu

Intertu is an after-school educational tutoring learning center that offers many academic courses and test prep for all students who are studying in international, bilingual schools, integrated programs, and have the plan to study abroad.  Their courses include IB – AP – A-level – IGCSE exam preparation courses, SSAT – SAT – ACT – GMAT – GRE exam preparation courses, teacher training courses…

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Curricula at Intertu Education spread out in many fields.  Their courses are designed specifically compatible with training programs of international schools in Vietnam.
  • Suitable for international school students who want to prepare for international certificates such as SAT, ACT, IB, AP… or college students who want to take GRE, GMAT
  • Flexible learning timeline and schedule
  • Class format is not available, students need to learn 1x1 with their tutors, or learn in small groups if they can find any classmates to join them.
8. Izumi

IZUMI is the Japanese education learning system for children from 4 – 12 years old.  This is a franchise educational model from Japan, which came into operation in Vietnam since 2015. Their courses focus on these 4 following subject areas:
– Magic Cube – Multi-Dimensional Thinking
– Proactive Japanese – Active Japanese
– Active Power – Reading Enlightenment Wisdom
– Nippon Math – Active Intelligence Math

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Apply Japanese teaching philosophy for children – kids can learn logical math, creative thinking in a very disciplined, independent way.
  • Customized learning for each student – students can learn at their own pace.
  • In addition to Math, Izumi also teaches active reading and Japanese for young students.
  • Suitable for primary and early middle schoolers only. Students may need to find a different place to study when it comes to more complex Math concepts such as trigonometry, vector, or function… 
  • Do not have Math courses for high school students.
9. American Skills

American Skills is the educational learning center system that followed the American teaching style and curriculum.  They offer Math, Vietnamese enrichment, social skill, and online English courses for students from kindergarten to secondary levels.  

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Their Math program – Avits Math (IXL) is designed based on the U.S. Common Core Standards.
  • Customize study plan for each student – students can learn at their own plan.
  • Math concepts are introduced through tangible objects, visualized pictures, and fun activities to help students enjoy learning Math.
  • The program does not focus that much on reading skills, thus students may find difficulties when moving on to learn different concepts of Math, such as word problems or geometry.
  • Do not have Math courses for high school students.
10. Brain Talent

Brain Talent is another learning center system applied Japanese Math teaching method – Abacus. They provide abacus math training and logic Math courses for students from 4 to 12 years old. The program is most suitable for children from 1st to 6th grade – the “golden time” to develop foundation mental math and logic skills. 

Highlights for parents to consider:

  • Children master basic math operations and can do mental math very rapidly without calculators
  • Flexible learning timeline and schedule
  • Customize study plan for each student – students can learn at their own plan.
  • Do not have Math courses for high school students.
Should you have any concerns or any topics you want us to cover, feel free to leave your comments below.  You can subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates delivered straight to your inbox, and find more parenting coverage at
5 Benefits When Kids Learn Math In English

5 Benefits When Kids Learn Math In English

Incorporating English into other subjects like Mathematics, Science is recently a popular trend, especially in bilingual schools and integrated programs. But why do our kids have to learn Math in English? Let’s discover 5 undeniable learning Math in English below!

loi ich hoc toan bang tieng anh thuc hanh ngoai ngu

Practice English in the language of Math

The most benefit of learning Math in English is that children can practice English while solving Math. Vocabulary, terms, or knowledge of Mathematics are still being used in everyday life. Therefore, learning Math in English helps children become familiar and apply them to practice. For example, your child will easily help you to pay bills, go to the supermarket, make payments when you two travel abroad.




Take advantage of huge online learning resources

Having a good knowledge of Math in English still allows them to take full advantage of online resources out there. The internet nowadays provides us with tons of free, useful, and enriching Math learning sites, applications, resources from renowned universities, and other educational institutions. The only problem is: they are all in English.

>> Learn more free, useful online learning websites and resources that teach Math for kids here


Ready for international math competitions

Vietnamese students can confidently conquer international math competitions such as IMO, SASMO, IKMC by mastering Mathematics in English. Of course, the international arenas will require students of a certain capacity. But a good foundation in Math learning in English from the beginning will be a launch pad to help children conquer these competitions.





Advantages for studying abroad

A good foundation of English is always an advantage in the story of studying abroad, especially in winning scholarships from top universities. To be able to achieve these scholarships, students need to take international certification such as IB, AP, IGCSE, A-level, or GMAT, GRE – all certificates require Mathematics tests in English.





loi ich hoc toan bang tieng anh trang bi tu duy phan bien va sang tao

Deepen critical and creative thinking skills

If creativity is considered the most important business skill, critical thinking is one of the keys to success in the 21st century. Creative thinking and critical thinking can be formed from studying, especially from Math. In math, creative thinking occurs when students generalize. To generalize, children need to analyze the problem first to see the same or the differences of things, to recognize the constant and the changes, … At Everest Education, we offer Singapore Math system, which has been proven to be especially effective for young students, and apply the CPA method (Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract) to make the students’ Math learning experience interesting and comprehensively develop all these skills.


>> Check out other topic:

7 Ways To Help Students Stay Focused In Classroom

5 Reasons Why Your Kids Hate Math (and how to fix it)