5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Relieve Test Anxiety When Taking PARCC Tests

April 14, 2016 0 Comments

Now that spring is here, students everywhere are preparing to take end-the-of-year tests. Many of them will be taking the PARCC exams (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which measures the progress of students in math and English in grades three through eight.

No one knows their children better than their parents do. That’s why you can be a valuable asset when it comes to helping your child study for this exam. As with any type of test, most students feel anxious just thinking about undergoing testing. Here are 5 ways parents can help their children relieve PARCC test anxiety. 

Explain How PARCC Test Questions Differ From Those on Standard Tests

When preparing your child for the PARCC exam, explain how the questions are somewhat different from those on standard tests. Basically, standard exams are looking for correct answers. However, PARCC test questions focus more on student comprehension of why an answer to a question is correct.

The PARCC exam also stresses application concepts. To demonstrate the differences, have your child examine examples of standard test questions vs. typical questions on a PARCC exam. 

Meet with Your Child’s Teachers

As a parent, you probably already know your kid’s strengths and weaknesses, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re aware of his or her academic skills and challenges. That’s why it can be a good idea to arrange meetings with teachers to discuss your child's strong and weak points. After knowing where your son or daughter needs more help, you can focus on these specific areas when helping your child study for the PARCC exam.

Review the Test Format By Taking Practice Tests

Being proficient in math or language arts skills is helpful. But not being knowledgeable in subject content doesn’t mean you can’t help your child prepare for the exam.

You can at least review the test format as this can help relieve some anxiety as it gives students a better idea of what to expect on their tests. Have you child take a practice test because this can get him or her familiar with the exam format.

Share Ways to Reduce Anxiety While Taking the Test

Even students who are well prepared for a test may still be somewhat anxious. Thus, show your child some stress busters that can help reduce their nerves. For example:

    • Tell them to not dwell on their fears, but to tackle each question, one at a time.
    • Demonstrate simple breathing and stretching exercises that they can do when feeling uptight.
    • Reinforce the importance in thinking positive thoughts while an exam, such as reassuring themselves that they’re doing the best job possible.
    • Equip your child with a water bottle because sipping water moistens the mouth.
    • Also, give your child a small towel for drying off his or her hands.

    Get Outside Help

    Often, parents don’t feel qualified to help in preparing their children for tests so they reach out for outside help, such as hiring tutors. Some schools provide after-school tutoring, as well as study session and clubs that provide additional practice in test taking.

    Considerations and Warnings

      • Be sure your child makes good use of time and has good study habits. This may mean having to forego regular after-school activities.
      • Some physical exertion can also help reduce stress so that kids can study better. Just walking around the block can be helpful.
      • Stress the importance of not spending too much time on one question and that if you don’t know the answer, move on the other questions.They can return to the hard question after completing most of a test.
      • Tell your child to focus on his or her own test and not to be concerned about other students finishing their test before they do. 
      • Don’t hesitate to call The Test Tutor. Our published test preparation materials are designed to help your child succeed on the PARCC test.