5 Easy Tips to Prepare for Standardized Testing Season
Help your child become a confident and prepared test-taker.
For most around the country, the month of March kicks-off standardized testing season and that can leave parents feeling overwhelmed. Whether you have a grade schooler preparing for the state’s standardized test or a high schooler preparing for the SAT, testing can be stressful for the entire family.
We hope this will help you start planning a few months out.
There’s no secret formula when it comes to passing a standardized test. It’s important to remember that anxiety may hinder performance for the test taker, so take a deep breath and read through a few practical tips to help your child prepare for standardized assessments.
- Take practice tests.
Many Department of Education state websites offer practice tests, which can help prepare children with understanding the test expectations, including the content and mechanics. SBAC and PARCC give assessments in many states and offer good examples of practice tests. If the test format seems familiar on test day, kids are more likely to feel comfortable and know what to do.
- Promote a positive attitude.
Parents should promote a positive attitude towards learning and testing. Kids need to take tests seriously and be strategic, but also feel confident and mentally prepared. Parents can help children feel prepared for the test by encouraging children to visualize success on test day. In other words, ask children to close their eyes and imagine themselves taking the test and feeling great about it.
- Discuss what to do if you finish early.
Sometimes kids finish the test early. It’s important to discuss that this is a good opportunity to double check and verify their answers for accuracy. Parents can coach them to review certain questions that were hard and use the process of elimination to rule out some of the answer choices.
- Eat well, exercise and rest.
In the weeks leading up to the test, it is important for students to have adequate sleep (eight hours is recommended), eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water, and get exercise. Foods high in protein, and water help to stimulate the brain. Exercise, such as stretching and walking, helps to supply the brain with oxygen. Eating a healthy breakfast before school, particularly on the day of the test, gives the body the fuel it needs to maintain long periods of concentration.
- Plan enjoyable and relaxing activities.
Trying to squeeze a little more preparation in immediately before the test is not advised because it can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Studying the day before or day of the test leads to increased anxiety and should be avoided. Instead, plan enjoyable activities to feel relaxed and ready.