The Best Way to Prepare for a Test on Short Notice

January 08, 2016 0 Comments

Just found out your child needs to take a gifted and talented admissions test soon? Here's a two-step strategy to help your child prepare in a few days:

Don't panic:

This is the first and foremost thing to do. In scientific terms, panicking only lessens the supply of oxygen to your brain, meaning you are unable to think logically or rationally. If you find yourself in a state of panic, there is also a notoriously simple solution for it as well - simply take deep breaths. Breathe in as deeply as you can, although slowly (in fact, as slowly as you can) and then exhale in the same manner. Doing this a couple of times should improve oxygen supply to your brain, resulting in a calmer and clearer state of mind.

Make a plan of action and stick to it:

Now you need to evaluate your child's current level of comprehension. The best way to do this is to give a sample test to your child and figure out what areas need improvement. After you have determined your child’s strengths and weaknesses, you need to make a study timetable, factoring in the number of hours left to prepare for the test. Covering all subtests is important (even if your child is good at a particular subtest, practice makes perfect) but focusing more on the weak areas is essential. You could expose your child to different types of questions and help him figure out how to arrive at the answer, so that if a similar type of question appears on the test, he/she will be equipped to handle it on his/her own. Our books can help you in that regard, so there is no need to worry at all.

Try to remember not to push your child too hard. Doing so will put unnecessary stress on him, and only wastes whatever limited time is left. Sometimes, it has the opposite effect: lowering the test score because of the inability to think clearly while taking the test. Remember what happens when you panic? The same applies to your child. Encourage your child to learn and use relaxation techniques, just in case they panic before or during the test.

Regardless of how much time remains before the test, keep in mind that every bit of practice helps.