March 08, 2016
If you have a month or more to prepare for your child’s test, here are some strategies you can employ to prepare your child for their test.
Knowledge is power. Ask the school or gifted program what test your child will take, how will it be administered and how often. Find out how the test is scored and what the scores will mean for your child. Will they be classified as gifted or accepted to their choice school? Will the test administrator make accommodations for a child with special needs? How will a low score in one area effect your child’s overall evaluation? What are the subjects and skills covered in the test?
If you haven’t already, incorporate regularly scheduled practice sessions into your child’s homework schedule. Initially, practice doesn’t have to be daily just consistent, then gradually build frequency as test day approaches.
Once you have practice materials, give your child a variety of practice exercises to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Then focus your efforts on the skills that your child finds most difficult.
Many younger children may initially not have the attention span to complete even one skill area. Even older children may find it difficult to maintain focus for the full duration of an actual test. To address this issue, start in short practice sessions and build up the length of practice over time. For an older child, you may want to run a full-length practice of the test, to give him a feel for the test structure, the transition between skill sections and the duration of the test.
Since you do have time to prepare, try to keep the stress level low. Establish an appealing workspace for homework and test prep. Do not cram; you have the benefit of time. Practice concepts in other forms like games or learning toys. Take a break from practice if needed.
Applying these concepts should help you and your child approach test day with confidence.
The Test Tutor provides resources and practices exercises to help familiarize your child with many commonly-tested skill areas.
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