State testing is once again on the horizon. While the tests do not affect a student’s grade, families sometimes ask what they can do to help their children prepare. Below are a few steps parents and families can take to help their children do their best on testing day.
Before the Test
Help your child in areas that are difficult
If your child has struggled with a particular area or subject in the past, you may be able to help her overcome some of that difficulty by providing some extra practice. You can find practice questions on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium site. Focus your practice on your child’s weaknesses rather than her strengths so that she doesn’t get bored with the exercises. Keep the sessions short, and set small, manageable goals so that the extra practice boosts your child’s confidence.
If you have questions about the test or testing situation, talk with your child’s teacher
Discuss your questions with the teacher. You can also reach out to The National Center for Fair & Open Testing or the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
On Test Day
Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast
Many teachers report that students who don’t do well on tests haven’t gotten enough sleep, and haven’t eaten breakfast on the morning of the test. Doing both of these things will ensure that your child is working at full capacity.
Staying calm will help your child stay calm. If he gets nervous about the test or is likely to experience anxiety during the test, help him practice some relaxation techniques that he can try once he’s taking the test.