We have all had to take standardized tests in some parts of our life, be it in grade school or for college admissions. The pressure of standardized tests does not only affect the students; parents, too, remain worried about them. No matter how much your children despite taking a test, it is something they are bound to face.
So it is better to help them prepare to face it rather than worrying about it. As a parent, you can have a very active role in your child’s preparation for a test. Here are some strategies that you can follow to help your child prepare for a standardized test.
Know About the Test Format
Different standardized tests adopt different formats. If you know about the test format, preparing for it will be much easier for your child. Most standardized tests adopt a multiple-choice or a true-false question pattern. Also, make sure your child knows the exact duration of the standardized test.
Practice with Model Test
There are several websites for taking practice tests. Taking these tests will reduce your child’s anxiety over a test. It will also boost her confidence and time management skills for the actual test. Even just taking one practice test can ensure a significantly better performance on the actual test.
Try to Avoid Last Minute Cramming
Many students cram hard just before the exam. It is never a good idea to try to take in the whole syllabus all at once. Preparing for an extended period of time will get the brain adjusted to the information, and the preparation will last long. As a parent, you should encourage your child to study on a regular basis rather than delaying until the last minute.
Maintain a Healthy Routine
Students should maintain a healthy routine regarding their diet, sleep, and exercise during test season. Parents should encourage children to eat healthy food as it will keep away digestive issues.
As a parent, you should ensure your child is getting proper sleep and maintaining a healthy routine. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water.
Build a Positive Attitude
Setting a positive mindset can go a long way to boost test performance. You should remind your child that trying her best is what matters most, not the result. If possible, adopt a short mantra to repeat during the test. It will help your child to focus during the test.
Provide a Relaxing Environment
Your child needs a quiet and comfortable environment for studying. Avoid any stress-inducing event at home during the test season. Arranging a party or hosting guests during test time can be stressful for your child to handle. Avoid this type of distraction at home so that your child can concentrate more on studies.
Encourage Your Child to Practice Visualizing
Visualization is a great strategy to adopt while studying. Imagining scenarios related to the study can help a student feel connected to the study topic. Visualization also helps to remember things better. Not only for studying, visualizing a scenario can be a creative practice for everyone.
Map Out Some Strategies for The Test
Mapping out strategies to approach a test is a great way to boost confidence. If your child is taking practice tests, find out her areas of strength and weakness from these tests. Allot more time to the topics they are struggling with. If possible, decide beforehand which questions are to be answered first and how much time should be allotted to each section.
Get Your Child Involved in Relaxing Activities
Some children need regular breaks or other simulations during the study. Make sure these study breaks are constructive and relaxing. Studying without any break just before the test can increase the stress level of your child. You can coax her out to relax sometime and talk to you about what she is feeling.
Know What They Are Allowed to Take in the Exam Hall
Some standardized tests allow only specific things to keep with the student during the test. Make sure these instructions are maintained properly. For example, there might be some calculators that are not allowed in standardized tests. You can do a quick web search for the acceptable calculator list, and that might jog your memory about the instructions.
Pack Everything Beforehand
Before the exam, make sure your child has everything they need for the test. Apart from the usual pen, pencils, eraser, photo ID, pack her some light snacks and water. Some tests can run for a long time, and staying comfortable during this time is important for better performance. If it’s cold, then add some layers of clothing to take with your child.
Relieve Anxiety over the Test
Some students tend to get very anxious over a test. While a little nervousness before a test is common for everyone, severe anxiety needs professional help. Remind your child that doing her best should be the goal for the test, not the result. Practice tests can also help relieve some test anxiety.
Remind Your Child to Be Relaxed During The Test
There can be many distractions at the exam hall. The questions might be complex, or it might take a lot of time to answer all the questions within the allotted time. Panicking over these issues during the test can only limit your child’s performance. No matter what is the scenario, remind your child to stay relaxed and focus only on the task.
Review after the Test
The time after the test is important for your child’s mental well being. You should talk to her about the test. Talking about the test and debriefing will help her understand her strengths or weaknesses. As a parent, encourage your child’s positive actions and point out and help her remedy the mistakes she made.
In conclusion, preparing for standardized tests like the SAT can be dreading for a student. Parents can make this dreadful experience a pleasant one by taking an active part in the preparation. Your little word of encouragement can be the biggest help your child needs during a test. This preparation process can also help forge a stronger connection between you and your child.