Most adults, not to mention kids, get nervous when a test is involved. Learning how to take a test can be a game-changer!
Try these tips and work with your children's teachers to provide the best environment:
- Use a calendar: Have your child write down when there is a test each week or month. Prep the night before with plenty of studying and a good night's sleep.
- Prepare early in subjects where more review is needed: If your child is gifted in English but struggles in Math, divide their studying time accordingly.
- Ask the teacher for details on the types of tests given: Most teachers will be happy to provide study-guides and practice tests. This will ensure that neither the content or format will be a surprise.
- Practice. Practice. Practice: Practice tests can be provided by teachers or even found online! Many classrooms include this in weekly lesson plans, but if your child needs extra support, pick one night a week to take a practice exam.
- Encourage your child to review: Go over any relevant materials the day before the test, and then get a good night’s sleep. These are the test-taking success basics!
- Keep the mood “upbeat” the day of the test: Eat a good breakfast and leave a little note of encouragement in your child's folder or lunchbox!
- Assure your children to simply do their best: If your child is well prepared then confidence is key! Let your child know that they are worth so much more than any tests score, whether good or bad!
- Suggest helpful strategies: Answering the easiest questions first and eliminating answers you know are incorrect are good strategies that can help with time management.
- Ask the teacher if your child can take the test untimed for certain subjects: Time-related stress can have a big impact on test-taking success. Many teachers will allow extra time to your child if you reach out in advance.
- If the test is timed...: Sometimes timed tests are unavoidable. Ask the teacher for a timer that your child can see, and for clear time announcements. This way there will be no last-minute panic at the end.
- Minimize distractions: Classrooms are full of distractions! Doors opening and closing, other classes walking by. Providing a personal carrel can make all the difference. Offer your child Noise Cancelling Headphones if they are sensitive to distracting sounds.
- Find a comfortable position and maintain good posture during test-taking: Posture is a great indicator of confidence, encourage your child to sit up straight for the duration of the exam and avoid the defeated slump if there's something they don't know.
- Hold a quiet fidget in hand to keep the jitters at bay: Make sure your child's teacher is aware of any additional resource they might need while test-taking.
Test-taking will always involve an element of stress, but being well-prepared can help make all the difference!