How to Help Your Child Improve in Test-Taking
Avoid Test Anxiety
It’s good to be concerned about taking a test. It’s not good to get "test anxiety." This is excessive worry about doing well on a test and it can mean disaster for a student. But there are ways to reduce text anxiety.
Encourage your child to do these things:
- Space studying over days or weeks. (Real learning occurs through studying that takes place over a period of time.)
- Don’t "cram" the night before - cramming increases anxiety which interferes with clear thinking. Get a good night’s sleep.
- Read the directions carefully when the teacher hands out the test. If you don’t understand them, ask the teacher to explain.
- Look quickly at the entire examination to see what types of questions are included (multiple choice, matching, true/false, essay) and, if possible, the number of points for each. This will help you pace yourself.
- In taking an essay exam, read all the questions first and use the margin for noting phrases that relate to the answers. These phrases will help in writing the essay answers.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, skip it and go on. Don’t waste time worrying about it. Mark it so you can identify it as unanswered. If you have time at the end of the exam, return to the unanswered question(s).
Do’s and Don’ts You can be great help to your children if you will observe these do’s and don’ts about test and testing:
- Don’t be too anxious about a child’s test scores. If you put too much emphasis on test scores, this can upset a child.
- Do encourage children. Praise them for the things they do well. If they feel good about themselves, they will do their best.
- Don’t judge a child on the basis of a single test score. Test scores are not perfect measures of what a child can do. There are many other things that might influence a test score.
- Meet with your child’s teacher as often as possible to discuss his/her progress. Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork.
- Make sure your child attends school regularly. Remember, tests do reflect children’s overall achievement.
- Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home.
- Make sure that your child is well rested on school days and especially the day of a test. Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.
- Give your child a well rounded diet. A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.
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