Standardize testing plays an important role in America’s public schools. These tests provide a yardstick for teachers to evaluate the performance of schools and their students. Results of these tests can have a significant impact on school assessment, funding, a child’s class placement and grade promotion.
That is a lot of pressure on a child and there is no escaping the realities of the student academic experience. If you are a parent or guardian and are concerned about what you can do to help support your child, here are some tips to help them perform at their best on test days.
Establish a daily routine
Success in school begins with a good routine at home. Does your child have a quiet space in the home for them to comfortably study properly? Do you have frequent conversations with your child about their strengths and weaknesses during testing? Are they getting enough sleep? Are they eating well in the mornings? The goal is to create an environment of calm as they prepare for the test.
Communicate with the teachers
Reach out to your child’s instructor to understand their progress. Set up a meeting with them to learn what they’ve been working on, what areas the student is struggling in, and best practices you can use at home. The teacher can be a good source for additional preparation material and resources your child can benefit from.
Encourage your child
Words of affirmation are powerful. The thought of failing can impact the emotional and mental well-being of a child, especially if it’s a student who is afraid of failing or becomes anxious before taking exams. Too much pressure can affect their test performance. Show them that no matter what the results are, they will always be supported.
Familiarize your child with the exam and environment
Students will feel more in control when they know what to expect. There are many practice tests you can find online. Parents should also discuss the testing environment (whether on paper or computer), what day the test will be administered and where, and how to maximize their break times.
Keep things in perspective
Standardized testing is important, but one test does not sum up the academic success or intellect of the child. There are other factors that determine how well your child will do in the classroom. If the testing doesn’t go as planned, don’t get upset; regroup, re-evaluate and be positive.