Thursday, April 14, 2011
Test taking tips for parents
Whether its the CA, SA or class test, taking tests or exams can be extremely stressful for parents. Here are some useful tips to help you tide over this nerve-wrecking period.
Tests and exams can be stressful for students sitting for it. But it is equally stressful for the parents who have kids taking it for the first time. We did some research and found these useful tips. We hope they will help you prepare yourself, I mean your kids for the test.
Before the test or exam:
1)Read aloud to your child - What has this got to do with testing? Reading aloud helps to foster a love for reading – which lays the foundation of your child’s successful career in school. Every subject (Math, English, Science, even Chinese) requires your child to read and understand – comprehension, problem sums, composition, science facts. Reading also helps to develop your child’s vocabulary, especially useful when it comes to Oral and Show and Tell presentations.
2)Help your child with his school work - Allocate an ideal space for your child to do his/her homework without any distractions. Organize and supply the space with everything a child needs to do his homework – proper table, comfortable seats, good lighting, stationary supplies etc. Read this article if your child hates to do homework. Working together on school assignments is a great bonding exercise for parent and child. Just remember that it is your child’s homework and he/she is the one who needs to do it with your guidance.
3)Maintain regular contact with your child’s form teacher - Keep an open communication with your child’s form teachers so that you are kept abreast of your child’s learning progress. Attend parent-teacher conferences, school functions and any other school events that will give you a better understanding of the testing and streaming process in your child’s school. Take advantage of these events to meet other parents who can advise and share with you on the school’s education goals.
4)Help your child know what to expect – This is especially for primary 1 students who are new to the testing game. Talk to them about time limitations and how to do or check their work within that time frame. Remind them about the possible points their teacher can deduct – legible writing, not writing their names properly etc.
5)Familiarize your child with testing procedures – Have mock tests at home so that your child is comfortable with taking tests. The results shouldn’t matter, its the process of sitting down for an hour or 45 minutes and finishing the paper that you want them to be familiar with.
6)Be encouraging - It can be frustrating when you see your child losing points over careless mistakes, sloppy writing, or failing to answer a question because he/she “forgot”. I know. I’ve been there. But the important thing to remember is they are learning. And with each mistake, they will get better and be more prepared the next time. So, try to look on the bright side and focus on the things they have done well.
7)Share your experiences as a former student – Kids love to hear stories of their parents as kids – what kind of students you were and how you cope with the pressure and stress of being a student. A walk down memory lane sometimes remind parents what it was like being 7 or 8 years old again. It may just prompt us to be more sympathetic and empathize with our kids. This also serve as a common platform for parent and child to bond.
On the day of the test/exam:
Follow normal routine the night before – make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep.
Provide your child with a wholesome breakfast or lunch before going to school
Plan your schedule so that you and your child get to school early or on time and be stress free.
Avoid rushing and arguing on this day or the week prior to the test / exam. Send your child to school HAPPY and relaxed.
Acknowledge that the tests are important and he/she should do his/her best.
Encourage and reaffirm your child’s effort. Take care not to over do it.
After the test, discuss the test and remember to praise your child for his/her effort (whatever the outcome).
As stressful as test or exam-taking is, try to keep things into perspective – you and your child have prepared for it - and trust that the child will do the best that he/she can. Whatever the results may be, it is a learning process and you are there to support their journey without judgement.
Watch out for our next article featuring tips from parents who have actually sat through these tests and exams.
By Meiling Wong Chainani
The asian parent