Whether you’re a high school student or a student in grades 3 – 8, that is required to take a federally mandated standardized test, the anxiety and stress associated with the pressure of taking a test can be overwhelming.
The following 5 best test taking tips will help get the most out of testing:
- Find out information about the test schedule and format.
- Find out how students are being prepped at school and what is actually being tested and measured.
- Find out if results could affect future placement.
- Inquire about test-taking strategies and how students can prepare or practice at home.
- Determine if hiring a tutor would be beneficial.
1. Do Your Research
- From the get-go, continue to build and maintain good homework and study habits.
- Communicate regularly with teachers in an effort to stay on top of how the student is performing in school.
- Practice, practice, practice – the more a student is familiar with the test style questions, the better they will feel on test day.
- Review and discuss good test-taking strategies. Those strategies include:
2. Prep in Advance
o Understanding the instructions at hand
o Answering questions you know first
o Not spending too much time on questions you don’t know
o Review answers if time is left at the end
- Remember that standardized tests are only one measure of academic achievement and performance.
- Don’t stress! Be careful not to transfer your concerns and nervousness to your child; children may become anxious if they are worried about disappointing a parent/guardian.
- Keep in mind that test results help identify strengths as well as areas that are in need of improvement.
3. Maintain Perspective
- Make sure the student is well rested, eats a healthy breakfast, and packs a nutritious snack.
- Pack up the night before so you can have a relaxed morning and arrive early to school to decrease stress.
- Remind your child to relax and follow instructions. Encourage them to do their best.
4. Be Prepared the Day Before
- Request help from your school or your tutor if you are not sure how to read and interpret test-result data.
- Ask and discuss, with your teachers and tutors, the potential reasons for discrepancies between test scores and school performance.
- Provide additional opportunities for your child to enhance learning in low-scoring areas.
- Continue to build good study and homework habits; these skills support and allow for successful test taking.
5. Interpret Test Results and Continue Building Skills
A large number of schools have a no-homework policy during the weeks tests are given. It’s the perfect opportunity to call your tutor and utilize this stress-free afternoon time to catch up on old materials, revisit missed concepts, and even get ahead of the curve!