Testing is a fact of life for our students. Your child may take up to 3 or more achievement tests during the school year because testing currently plays a major role in United States public schools. We have instilled the idea of having a growth mindset; they know the difference between not knowing and not knowing yet. Students have been taught their brain is a muscle and it gets stronger when they struggle with difficult tasks before they become easy.
Some test-takers are better able to overcome the natural human condition that causes us to panic and our brain to shut down in defense. However, for some students, the fear of failing makes some students anxious because they want the results to meet their own (or their parents') high expectations.
As a parent (teacher), it is up to us to guide them through the process of putting anxious feelings behind them and move forward by offering strategies to overcome the panic and fear. We want our student’s brains to stay in the knowledge part, so they can learn more or access information for a test. There are a number of ways you can support your child before taking a standardized test and daily student attendance is the first step. We ask for your help by making sure your child arrives at school on time & scheduling all appointments for your child during after-school hours and non-attendance days.
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. Removing video game consoles out of student’s bedrooms during the testing season will assist with a good night’s sleep. Making sure students have eaten breakfast on the morning of the test help with focusing on the task and working at full capacity.
Remain positive and Reduce Stress
Avoid saying this test is so important and that they better do well; focus on telling your child that they are prepared and to do their best. Also, tell your child to stay focused and answer the questions the best they can. Staying calm will help your child stay calm. If they get nervous about the test or are likely to experience anxiety during the test, help them practice some breathing techniques that they can try once they are taking the test: counting slowly to 10 or taking 10 deep breaths are ways to calm down.
Show What You Know
Express confidence in your child’s abilities and encourage your student to take the tests seriously. These tests are a way to demonstrate all of the learning they have worked hard to learn this year.
Speed doesn’t equal success
It’s important to remind your child to slow down. Often we find that children equate knowledge with how fast they complete the test. Remember to encourage your child to slow down, check every answer, and show their work.
Test scores will tell you something about your student, but they will not tell you everything. Your child is so much more than a test score, and we know it. We also know they have been training to show what they know all year, their academic success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.