Tests often bring thoughts of dread to students, parents, and teachers alike. Tests can sometimes be difficult to prepare for yet can hold such an impact on the academic journey. This can be stressful for all involved. For high school students, high scores on tests like the ACT and SAT bring potential scholarships and help narrow down college choices. At the elementary level, the teacher finds out just how well their students are doing in comparison with kids across the nation.
Dealing with Test Anxiety
Test-taking can bring a lot of anxiety, especially when there is an expectation of performance. Teachers feel responsible for the achievement of their students, while students often bear the expectations of their parents to do well,. Teachers who want to see student progress and learning needs at the individual level prefer assessments like the i-Ready test, where a student is assessed through an online program. The results of the scoring with student responses against the correct i-Ready answers identifies the unique level or placement of the student, enabling a teacher to take a more focused approach with instruction, including the use of extra activities to foster learning. To help ensure your students do their best, here are some easy tips you can share with them to help improve their test-taking success.
1. Develop a Positive Attitude
Your students or kids will mirror your attitude about school and tests, so keep your attitude positive and upbeat. Teach them to think of a test like a puzzle, focusing on one question at a time. Let them know that a test doesn’t define who they are as a student and that you only expect them to do their best and what they are capable of.
2. Devise a Strategy
If a test is coming up on the schedule, teach your children how to create a study strategy. Ask for details on what the test will cover, then plan to spend one night reading the textbook, another night on the notes, and so on. Depending on the age of the child, help them create a study guide and prioritize time each day to see that they look it over. Help them identify their challenging areas and advise them to spend extra time in these areas.
3. Renounce Cramming
Don’t let your students or kids procrastinate. Cramming doesn’t work, and it only creates a tired, more stressed-out student. Teaching your kids to study in advance will cut down the need for staying up late the night before the test. Remind the student that being well-rested is important for being mentally prepared for the test. Cramming takes away a chance for a good night’s sleep.
4. Fill Up on Brain Food
The morning of a test, make sure the student has had a breakfast of protein and fiber. Filling up on a pop tart or some sugar cereal can make the brain feel sluggish, and it could jeopardize their ability to do well. Have a quick study session on the way to school, but don’t let students stress out with too much cramming. Ten minutes should be enough time to brush up the weak areas, so long as the student has put in the time each day before the test.
Don’t let your child or students beat themselves up about their test-anxiety or their fear of failure. Remind them that tests are just another learning opportunity, and when you go into them well-prepared, there is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what the outcome might be.