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Test Taking Success Tests Good!

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Tests are one method for educators to gauge students knowledge and what they need to know. By taking tests children learn study skills, learn from their errors and learn how to handle the “unexpected” in an academic setting.Through practice and preparation, children will feel equipped and ready to handle tests and be less afraid of failure or mistakes. They’ll learn to rely on their own abilities and put in their best efforts. Here are a few strategies to improve your test taking skills:

Talk to the Teacher:
Teachers often offer a study guide for the test, outlining the format and the featured information. If you haven’t received a study guide through your child or in an email, visit or call the teacher. Ask about the specific things your child should prep for, along with any weak spots in his learning.

Involve the Entire Family:
Play short and relaxed 15-minute games (or “study breaks”) instead of enforcing a stressful cram session. Involving siblings and grown-ups will also make learning fun instead of being a chore.Change questions based on the ability of the participants; younger siblings may need easier questions. End the game when the time feels right, or when someone achieves three correct answers.

Engage the Senses:
Some concepts stick better if you integrate the senses of touch, smell, and sound in fun ways. “When there’s movement involved, kids are more likely to remember facts than when they’re just sitting at a table, skimming textbook information,” says Ann K. Dolin, a Washington D.C.-based. Here are a few examples: To help with reading or spelling, let kids use icing to write words on a cake pan or shape cookie dough on a baking tray to practice letters. Sing the multiplication tables to a popular tune to help with memorization.

Craft Flash Cards:
A set of flash cards can help her review fast facts anywhere. Make the flash cards unique, with index cards, colorful pens, magazine pictures, and stickers for different subjects. Instead of acting as the quiz leader, let your child hold the flash cards to test you.

Talk Test Strategies:
When they’re first handed a test, they should take a few minutes to scan all the directions and questions. Use a pencil to cross out incorrect multiple-choice answers, so wrong answers are immediately eliminated. Teach children to skip the most difficult questions, but leave enough time to return to them later. Then, if there is still time left, they should review the questions and chosen answers.

Design a Practice test:
A night or two before a test, draft a practice test for your child. This will help both of you figure out what your child does and doesn’t know. Ask your child to write down spelling words while you dictate or put together a multiple-choice historical facts worksheet. Help your child observe which ones they miss and practice just those elements.

Consistency:
Before the test, review past worksheets and help your child look for consistent mistakes. For math, help them improve any addition or subtraction issues they constantly struggles with; for science, practice terms they regularly forget. Instead of using a pencil and paper, use a whiteboard and dry-erase marker for a quick fix in the mistake.

Boost the Basics:
The night before any big test, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, to improve their chances for an A the next day. For optimal school performance, most 6- to 8-year-olds need 11 hours of sleep, and 9- to 10-year-olds need closer to 10 hours, says Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Sleepless in America.”

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