CC ISSUE: MAR 2010 Last updated: Mar 4, 2010
It is that time of the year again! Students across the nation are going to be taking standardized tests administered by their schools. These tests are important because teachers use them to measure a student’s level of mastery in the subject, his or her ability to learn and in some circumstances whether a child can pass to the next grade level.
Here are some common test-taking strategies to help your child do well:
- Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and wakes up on time to enjoy a pleasant, stress-free experience before school.
- Make sure your child eats a wholesome breakfast and gets to school on time.
- Remind your child that the test is important. Encourage him to listen carefully to directions and ask questions if something is unclear.
- Encourage your child to answer every question. Students are given timed tests and may find they do not have enough time to finish reading and answering every question. Students should gauge their time and in the last few minutes they should use their time to fill in an answer for all the rest of the questions as most tests given in elementary and high school do not deduct points for wrong answers.
- If a child gets stuck on a question, they should use the process of elimination to strike out obvious wrong answers and then choose between the remaining choices.
Because students must mark their answers on a separate piece of paper, they might accidentally skip a line or mark two answers on one line and throw off all the remaining answers. Avoid this by using a ruler or an extra pencil to place under the line of the question they are answering and move it down a line as they answer each question.
Tell your child to stay focused on the test. Even if other students finish early they should not get distracted.
Send a small snack with your child on test days. Often schools will allow students a small snack between tests.
Most students are nervous before a test. Often, this energy helps students perform better, although for a few students it can have the opposite effect. Reassure your child that you will be happy as long as they tried their best. No matter what your child’s test scores are, use them as a positive tool in identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
By Linda Said, Principal, Islamic Community Center of Illinois School