Testing Tips for Parents
Encourage your child to study a little while for several nights before a test instead of waiting until the night before the test.
Make sure your child exercises every day. Daily exercise helps reduce stress and helps children sleep better. This, in turn, will help your child do better on a test.
Make sure your child gets to bed on time the night before a test.
Help your child organize and get ready those things she/he will need in the morning (clothes, glasses, backpack, lunch, snack) and put them in a place that will be readily accessible in the morning.
Make sure your child gets up on time the morning of the test. An unrushed morning can help your child feel less stressed.
Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast and has a healthy snack for school the morning of the test.
Make sure your child gets to the bus or to school on time. Being tardy can increase your child’s anxiety.Hug your child. Touch can actually comfort and relieve anxiety for your child.
Make sure your child is at school on the day of a test unless she/he is truly ill (fever or throwing up). If they are absent and not ill, they are only avoiding the test until later and are learning to avoid rather than handle situations that may produce anxiety for them. Avoidance may temporarily relieve anxiety but will likely increase future avoidant behavior and anxiety.
Be positive about tests. Tests are an opportunity for your child to show what she/he has learned. Tell your child that you will love her/him no matter how she/he does on the test but you expect them to try their best (not be perfect!).
Studies prove that some test anxiety will actually help your child be better prepared and do better on the test. However, if your child seems very worried, help her/him practice anxiety reducing exercises like self-talk, breathing, flexing and releasing muscles, etc.
Remind your child that he/she is so much more than a test score!
Testing Tips for Kids
The night before:
- Go to bed on time the night before a test. Get a good night’s sleep.
- You may want to lay out your clothes/shoes and get your backpack/lunch/healthy snack ready the night before so you can have a relaxed, stress free morning.
The morning of:
- Get up on time. Rushing the morning of the test may cause you to feel stressed.
- Eat a healthy breakfast that will stay with you for a while. It’s tough to concentrate on the test if you are hungry.
- Do not pick a fight with your brother/sister. You want to have a calm, stress free morning so you can do your best on the test.
- Arrive at school on time to avoid feeling rushed or stressed.
- Come to school unless you are truly ill (fever or throwing up). If you are absent the day of a test, you will have to make the test up later.
During a test:
- Read, Read Carefully, & Read Again: Read each question carefully. Then re-read it for the best answer!
- Plug It In: Plug in each answer to see which one makes sense.
- Slash the Trash: Cross out any answers that do not make sense.
- Pace Yourself: You have plenty of time! Don't worry about others and don't rush.
- Reframe Your Thinking: Have a positive mindset and say to yourself, I can do it! I am ready for this test!
- No Fear: One piece of information, YOU are in charge of your test and your success.Jail Give it your best!
- Jail the Detail: Circle or underline key words.
- Check it Out: Check over all your answers.
- Study in a quiet area with few distractions. Make sure you have your book, notes, study guide, etc. at home with you.
- Create flash cards/note cards, outlines, diagrams, or whatever else will help you to learn the material you will be tested on. Use these to help you study.
- Studying for shorter periods of time over several days will actually allow you to learn the material better than studying for a long time the night before the test.
- When possible, study with a partner or have a sibling or parent quiz you about the information you are learning. You can use your notes, note cards, study guide, etc. to have them quiz you.
- REMEMBER, some test anxiety is normal and will actually help you do better on the test!
- If you feel too worried about the test (more than just a few butterflies in your stomach), there are things you can do to help yourself relax.
- Slowly breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat if necessary.
- Squeeze your hands tightly and hold (pretend you are squeezing a lemon) until you feel it in your biceps, then slowly release. Repeat if necessary.
- Curl your toes tightly into the bottoms of your shoes and hold (pretend you are picking up a pencil with the bottoms of your toes) until you feel it in your calf muscles, then slowly release. Repeat if necessary.
- Think about something you love to do, somewhere you love to go, or something you are looking forward to doing after school to help yourself feel less stressed.
- Self talk: Think positive! Tell yourself you will do the best job you can on the test, encourage yourself, avoid thinking or saying negative things about yourself, the test, or how you will do on the test. Talk to yourself in your head (self-talk). Remind yourself that you will be OK and you will do the best job you can on the test. That is all anyone wants you to do!