As we enter into the last quarter of the school year, it is time for standardized testing. Standardized testing (or high stakes testing) is something many students, teachers, and parents alike dread at the end of the year. These tests are supposed to show what a student has mastered throughout the school year in various subjects. Students are supposed to show their mastery of state standards.
Each state has a slightly different version of the test, but they all have the same purpose. We typically see an increase in anxiety and worry during this time of the year. Since we know each year that standardized testing will rear its head, it’s time to be proactive about the situation. It’s never too late (or too early) to start preparing your child for “the test”. Here are some things you can do today to ensure you and your child has a smooth “testing season”.
Study in “Chunks”
We all know cramming doesn’t work (been there, done that, have the t-shirt). So teach your child how to study in small chunks. 20-30 minutes, take a break, 20-30 minutes, take a break. Doing this will make studying seem less monotonous and will allow your child to focus better during the short spurts of time.
Use a tutor
If you do not have the time or talent to help your child prepare for state testing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a tutor. Some parents may be reluctant, but in reality, there is no harm in giving it try. Your child will not “un-learn” what they already know by working with a tutor. In addition, you can find an expert in the area your child needs the most help. If your child struggles in reading comprehension, find an online reading tutor. If you are in the market for a tutor, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Question of the Day
Similar to studying in chunks, use the “question of the day” strategy to help students practice test questions. One question a day is enough to help them practice without being over taxed by the thought of the test.
Take a practice test
Mosts states have practice test you can print out. A quick google search should pull up the standardized test of your choice. Work through this with you child so you can see what they will be up against come testing day, and help them work through it. You can even request your online tutoring to work through this practice exam with your child.
Practice a stress reducing activity
Although you are helping your child work through the test and learn studying skills, it is important to teach them how to reduce their anxiety. Naturally, everyone is nervous on test day, Unfortunately, I have witness students become so nervous they are too sick to take the assessment. You can tach your child breathing techniques, chair yoga, or even positive affirmations to help them calm themselves.
Allowing our students to perform to the best of their ability on statewide standardized assessments (regardless of our feeling towards them), is important to both teachers and parents. We have to work together to ensure that our children are successful and prepared.