It won’t be long before your child is preparing for their first test of the school year. Whether they are taking a spelling test, a math test or a standardized achievement test, there are some ways for parents to help their child for the big day.
1. Know what test your child has to take and why.
There are “pre” and “post” tests before and after starting a new section in math, science or reading. There are pop quizzes on the current curriculum and midterms that can count for a large portion of your child’s grade. And more importantly, there are a lot of standardized achievement tests given to every grade level in your state. Check with your child’s teacher to see what tests are coming up and what it’s being used for.
2. Write test days on a family calendar.
To make it easier to keep track of everyone, try using a different color marker for each family member. Write everything from a small spelling test to those higher-stake tests. That way everybody knows what’s coming up and can be supportive and prepared.
3. Teach your child a few test-taking strategies.
Taking tests doesn’t usually come naturally for kids. But knowing how to take them is just as important as knowing the information. Here are a few tricks that will help them:
- Read the directions first. It may sound simple, but many kids rush to get started without reading the directions. It doesn’t matter if they know the material; when your child doesn’t understand how to answer, it’s easy to fail the test.
- Write an essay assuming the reader doesn’t know anything about the topic. The best and most complete essays answer the question with complete sentences and details that support the answer. Tell your child to think of it as explaining the idea to someone who doesn’t know the topic at all.
- Use the power of elimination. Multiple choice tests can be a lot easier once you’ve gotten rid of the answers that don’t fit. Teach your child to cross out the wrong answers first then choose the right one from the choices that remain.
4. Be encouraging.
Your child is most likely already feeling stressed. Try to find a way to let them know that you think it’s important that they do as well as they can, but if they study and try hard, you’re not going to be angry if they don’t do as well as you would like.
5. Get your child to bed early so they can wake up refreshed.
If your child is sleepy on test day, they’ll have a hard time focusing. Set a bedtime that takes into account how much sleep your child needs, and get them up in the morning with enough time to fully wake up before going to school.
6. Get the day started with a good breakfast.
Mornings can be a bit busy around the house, but making sure your child has a healthy breakfast is especially important on test days. Kids think better when they’re they’ve had a good breakfast, but a high-carb, sugary breakfast can make them sleepy. Make sure they get some healthy carbs as well as protein to feed their brain power.
7. Check-in at the end of the day.
Ask your child how the test went and how they think they did. It’s a good time to review the test-taking strategies they used and which ones they forgot about. Be encouraging and let them know you’re proud no matter how they did.
I hope these tips help! If you have any tips to help your child study or prepare for an upcoming test, share in the comments below!
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