Tips to help families cope with test anxiety this Stress Awareness Month

San Antonio – Students across the Alamo City are preparing for the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, between April 21 and 24. This latest round of high-stakes testing, known to increase anxiety levels for students and educators alike, happens to fall during National Stress Awareness Month.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, April is the designated time to unwind through relaxation and rejuvenation. That may seem easier said than done when students and parents are dealing with “STAAR Stress,” yet a childhood behavioral specialist with a local nonprofit is offering helpful tips.


“A major trigger for anxiety is the expectation that you won’t do well on the test,” says Dr. Priti Mody-Bailey, senior medical director at Community First Health Plans. “This is exacerbated with a lack of preparation and worry about failure when thoughts of past tests meet pressure to keep up with peers.

Study and tutoring combined with positive reinforcement in class and at home will go a long way to lowering anxiety levels, adds Dr. Mody-Bailey. More specifically, she suggests the following:

Home Preparation – It’s critical that parents communicate with teachers to know which academic subjects and tutoring techniques they can reinforce at home. Study early and often and practice testing strategies and memory techniques. By helping students, parents can instill confidence in children prior to test day.

Positive Atmosphere – Families can work together to prepare children for the testing environment and stress time-management techniques. During times of frustration, it’s important that families also make time for fun to unwind on the weekends and reward children for all their hard work during the school week.

Test Day Techniques – Even the most prepared students can suffer anxiety. Get a good night’s rest before a healthy breakfast, avoiding caffeinated drinks. Wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers. At school, don’t panic or worry about keeping up with classmates. Think of a peaceful place, take deep breaths and relax your muscles. Try not to rush through questions, but skip ones you don’t know then return to them if time permits.

Visit the Texas Education Agency website at to download STAAR test schedules.

Immediate Release - STAAR Stress Tips

About Community First Health Plans

CFHP was established in 1995 by the University Health System, specifically to provide health care coverage to the citizens of Bexar and the surrounding counties. As the only locally owned and managed, non-profit health plan in the area, CFHP’s commitment to our members is to provide great health care benefits backed by outstanding service, delivered by people who live right here in South Texas. Visit for more information.

esd newsletter

esd social

esd & associates 07/10/17
Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of FREE fitness activities this summer. esd has partnered with San Antonio Parks and Recreation (SAPR) for three years in a row to bring the SA Parks Fitness App. So click here to learn more about how you can get fit this summer and how to win some awesome prizes.
esd & associates 07/06/17
TBT to our amazing VP of Operations, Lindsay Ackels, representing esd at the Best Practices in Worksite Wellness Forum. esd is a proud member of the Mayors Fitness Council and is proud to offer our employees wellness incentives.
esdresults 06/29/17
Our VP of Operations Lindsay, will be on an #SABGH forum panel about best practices for #workplacewellness tomorrow…
esd & associates 06/29/17
Our VP of Operations, Lindsay Ackels, will be on an San Antonio Business Group on Health (SABGH) forum panel discussing best practices for workplace wellness. Lindsay helps esd stay healthy all year round! esd is a proud member of the Mayor’s Fitness Council, and we are excited for Lindsay to represent us tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. at the forum. Read more here:
esd & associates 06/27/17
Hard to believe our city is turning 300. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! We’ll have some exciting news for you as 2018 approaches about our involvement in this year-long celebration stay tuned!

Your Digital Marketing Source

Introducing the esd Media Library

At esd, we write white papers on a broad variety of digital media topics, from lead nurturing and email marketing to search engine optimization and B2B buyer personas. Consult our media library for in-depth answers to all your digital media questions.