HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Teachers at schools across the Commonwealth are preparing their students for Kentucky state testing.

The high expectations that come with standardized tests may be causing some students to feel more stressed than usual.

“Being non-tested to tested and this relying on getting accepted to college, it’s really stressful because what if you don’t meet the benchmarks or requirements,” said 12th grader Dalton Day.

Many educators might be seeing this stress firsthand.

“As a human, we don’t like to be tested, so kids in general get nervous about a test anyway,” said high school math instructor John Hamilton. “There’s always that little bit of anxiety, but when you add that pressure of ‘hey, this is a state test, this is important,’ all those things, of course it adds more stress.”

School-based counselor Carrie Lawson said caregivers can play a crucial role in alleviating test anxiety.

“It’s gonna be hard for them to get up and do a test if they’re already tired, so making sure they get enough rest,” said Lawson. “I think a lot of kids too, they have low self-confidence, and so they need to believe in themselves and say, ‘hey, I can do this, I’m prepared for this.’”

Lawson said if the anxiety becomes too much for students while taking a test, there are things they can do to help.

“A lot of kids, when they get anxious, you struggle to breath or just get really nervous, so kind of focusing on your breathing and doing some breathing can really help when we’re feeling really anxious,” Lawson added.

For teachers, offering a sense of support to students can also help to ease testing anxiety.

“At the end of the day, you just tell them to do your best. That’s all you can do,” Hamilton said.

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