Essential Standardized Test Taking Tips for Parents

test taking tips for parents
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Standardized testing will be a significant part of your child's education typically beginning in 3rd grade.  These tests are crucial not only to you and your child, but also to the teachers, administrators, and school your child attends. The stakes can be extremely high for schools as they are given a grade based on how well students perform on these assessments.  In addition, many states utilize standardized test scores as a component of a teacher's overall evaluation.

Finally, many states have stakes tied to these assessments for students including grade promotion, graduation requirements, and the ability to receive their driver's license. These test-taking tips can be followed to assist your child to perform well on the test. Discussing the importance of these tests with your child will push them to do their best and following these tips can aid in their performance.

  1. Reassure your child that he or she does not have to answer all the questions correctly to pass. It is not expected that students answer every question correctly.  There is always room for error. Knowing that they do not have to be perfect will help eliminate some of the stress that comes with testing.
  2. Tell your child to attempt to answer all of the questions and not to leave any blank. There is no penalty for guessing, and students can get partial credit on the open-ended items.  Teach them to eliminate ones that they know are wrong first because it gives them a higher chance of getting the correct answer if they are forced to guess.
  1. Remind your child that the test is important.  It sounds simple, but many parents fail to reiterate this. Most children will put forth their best effort when they know  it is important to their parents.
  2. Explain to your child the importance of using time wisely. If your child gets stuck on a question, encourage him or her to make the best guess or place a mark in the test booklet by that item and go back to it after finishing that section of the test. Students must not spend too much time on a single question. Give your best attempt and move on.
  1. Ensure that your child gets a decent night's sleep and a good breakfast before taking the test. These are essential to how your child performs. You want them to be at their best. Failing to get a good nights rest or good breakfast can cause them to lose focus quickly.
  2. Make the morning of the test a pleasant one. Do not add to your child's stress.  Do not argue with your child or bring up a touchy subject. Instead, try to do extra things that make them laugh, smile, and relax.
  3. Get your child to school on time the day of the test.  Give yourself extra time to get to school that morning. Getting them there late will not only throw off their routine, but it could also disrupt testing for other students. 
  4. Remind your child to listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher and to read the directions and each question carefully.  Encourage them to read every passage and every question at least two times. Teach them to slow down, trust their instincts, and give their best effort.
  5. Encourage your child to stay focused on the test, even if other students finish early.  It is human nature to want to speed up when others around you are already finished. Teach your child to start strong, stay focused in the middle, and finish just as strong as you started. Many students hijack their scores because they lose focus on the bottom third of the test.
  1. Remind your child that it is okay to mark in the test booklet as a help in taking the test  (i.e. underlining key words) but to mark all answers as instructed on the answer sheet.  Teach them to stay within the circle and to erase any stray marks completely.
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Meador, Derrick. "Essential Standardized Test Taking Tips for Parents." ThoughtCo, Aug. 21, 2016, thoughtco.com/essential-standardized-test-taking-tips-for-parents-3194598. Meador, Derrick. (2016, August 21). Essential Standardized Test Taking Tips for Parents. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/essential-standardized-test-taking-tips-for-parents-3194598 Meador, Derrick. "Essential Standardized Test Taking Tips for Parents." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/essential-standardized-test-taking-tips-for-parents-3194598 (accessed November 22, 2017).