It’s that time of year. Final exams are right around the corner. In December we discussed the importance of studying early for end of the semester final exams and gave some practical tips for parents such as having students find out from each teacher if there will be a final exam and what the test will cover. Using that information to help set up a study plan weeks before the test. After the study time is completed and the child is confident in his knowledge of the subject matter, to take and grade a practice test. Remember, cramming is done in days, true knowledge and confidence takes weeks.
This is also the time of year for many students to be taking their state or national standardized tests. This can be an extremely stressful time for students as these tests typically do not affect their classroom grade, but do add to an already heavy load of schoolwork. How can you as a parent help support your child and the school to make this a good experience? Here are some tips:
• Do some role-playing and practice tests at home. This can actually be fun for your child…a bit like playing school. It will help the child to become more comfortable taking a test.
• Remind your child that it is not always best to be the first one done on the test. For younger children first is winning but this is not true in most tests. The more time spent on the test, the better the outcome.
• Many times these tests will determine options for classes in the future. It is important to help your child get the information needed from teachers or counselors to see if there are specific areas the child needs more work. (This needs to happen throughout the school year.) If so, ask your school what resources they offer. Many times the school will have computer programs or other materials for students.
• Many high school students take Advanced Placement (AP) tests or ACT and SAT tests, college entrance exams. There are many great resources for these standardized tests at local bookstores and the library. The key is allowing your child enough time to work through the exercises provided to gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to do well. Weekends are a great time to work on this material, as the weekday homework load is often heavy.
As with all testing, the more exposure and experience children have the less anxious and concerned they will be. This will help them to relax and do their best on any exam!
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
By Megan Stone, founder and president of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.. She has been working with students and faculty members across the country for over fifteen years. Megan is the author of The Ownership Series (for post secondary students) and Own Your Education: A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (and Life). Contact Megan at Stone Foundation of Learning, Inc.