Tips For Parents To Help Their Kids Succeed On Test Day

Tips For Parents To Help Their Kids Succeed On Test Day

shutterstock_183147335 As a parent, it’s only natural that you want to do everything you can to help your child reach his/her fullest potential — and that includes doing well on tests. Whether your child is in first grade or middle school, what are the best things you can do to help him/her feel confident and empowered when it’s time to take a test? How can you help your kids perform better and find greater levels of test-taking success? To help answer these questions, here’s a roundup of tips to try next time a test day occurs:

Start Early. Empowering your child to succeed starts well before test day. Even when your kids are very young, work to make learning fun by incorporating exploration opportunities into your everyday routine. Go to the library, read together, talk about the world around you and engage them as they ask questions. This helps their little minds develop an interest in learning that will serve them well throughout their academic lives.

Ask the Teacher. One of the best resources for helping your child do better on tests is the teacher, the person who is with your child every day and watching learning take place. “Teachers often offer a study guide for the test,” says Lora Shinn at Parents Magazine, “outlining the format and the featured information. If you haven’t received a study guide through your child or in an email, visit or call the teacher.” You might also want to ask about specific things your child is struggling with, ideas the teacher has for better test prep, etc.

Make Studying Fun. Especially when your child is young, he/she will likely study more and longer when the studying process feels fun. Whether you engage the whole family in a game about state capitals or get outside to practice something your son/daughter is learning in science class, when you find ways to make the curriculum that will be tested more interesting and engaging, you help your child pay attention and remember information more easily.

Verbally Encourage Them. Almost all children respond positively to verbal affirmation and a sense that their parents think they can succeed, so make it your goal to support your kids’ confidence with kind words that tell them you know they can do well. “Providing positive feedback for effort, celebrating successes and encouraging them to keep trying will help your children to feel confident in approaching assessments,” says Fiona Baker at the Kidspot Mums’ School Zone. A key point is to celebrate genuine effort above numerical grades — if your kids feel afraid of disappointing you, their stress and nervousness can lead to adverse outcomes on test day.

Work with Them. Let your child know that you’re available to help with studying or homework, and give him/her a sense that you’re on the same team. Kids who feel supported and helped in the learning process are often able to do better than kids who feel alone.

Provide a Healthy Breakfast That Morning. To help your kid have energy, mental clarity and fewer distractions at test time; provide a well-balanced breakfast especially on the morning of the test. “A balanced breakfast, consisting of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat gives energy and prevents a drop in blood sugar for several hours, until snack or lunch time,” says the San Francisco Unified School District.

Encourage a Good Night’s Sleep. Right along with a good breakfast, a good night’s sleep makes a huge difference in a child’s ability to stay focused and alert in the classroom. Don’t let your child stay up super late the night before a test, and take steps to make sure he/she gets appropriate rest.

From your children’s earliest days in school, tests are always a big part of the learning process — and they’re a part that you can encourage and empower them to do well on through a little help and support. Use the tips above to set your kids up with the kind of knowledge, energy and confidence they need to do their best when test day comes, and you’ll help them foster skills that can come in handy the rest of their lives.

Author Bio

David Serwitz is the Founder & CEO of the National Leader for In-Home Tutoring for grades K-12 and college students, Grade Potential. For 13 years, Grade Potential Tutoring has worked with thousands of families across the U.S. to help them achieve academic success.

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