April 14, 2016
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:
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
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