Standardized tests are a
fact of life for Americas schoolchildren. Here is some important
information that will help them and you survive and succeed during testing
Get familiar Ask your child's teacher if the school gives,
or can send home, practice tests similar in format to the test your
child will be taking. Knowing the format and seeing the types of
questions that will be asked could help build your child's confidence.
Encourage, don't pressure
Encourage your children to do their best, but avoid putting on the
pressure. Too much pressure can cause test anxiety and lead to
worse, not better scores. Understand that standardized tests are
just one way schools measure a child's ability.
Give your children a healthy breakfast the morning of a big
test--and remember that good nutrition fuels brains year-round.
Food high in fat or sugar doesn't provide the nutrients children need to
do their best.
Sleepy children have a tough time succeeding academically.
It's particularly important for your children to get a good night's
sleep the night before a big test. For most elementary school
children, 10 hours of sleep every night is best.
Make sure your children have the supplies they need for the test.
These could range from sharpened #2 pencils with erasers to calculators
Help your children
understand these very important tips:
Pay attention Stress that they will need to listen to
the testing instructions very closely and follow the written directions
Don't rush to finish Make sure they use any extra time to
check their answers and complete any questions they left blank.
Keep track of the "bubbles" Remind them that it's very
important to make sure they're at the right place on their answer sheet.
It's easy for children to lose track, especially if they've skipped a
question. Suggest that they double-check every 5 or 10 questions,
making sure that the bubble they're filling in matches the number of
questions they're answering.
Skipping is OK Remind them that they don't have to answer
the questions in order. If they're unsure about a question, tell
them its OK to come back to it later.
Find the best answer It's tempting for children to choose
the first answer that looks right. Make sure they understand that
several of the answers may seem right, but that they need to choose the
one best answer.
Aim high Encourage them to do their best and help them
believe that they will do well.