helpful for a child to understand
why schools give tests. And to know
the different kinds of tests.
are yardsticks. Schools use them
to measure, and then improve
education. Some tell schools that
they need to strengthen courses or
change teaching techniques. Other
tests compare students by schools,
school districts, or cities. All
tests determine how well "your
child" is doing. And that's very
of the tests your child will take
are "teacher-made." That is,
teachers design them. These tests
are associated with the grades on
report cards. They help measure a
student's progress--telling the
teacher and the student whether he
or she is keeping up with the
class, needs extra help, or,
perhaps, is far ahead of other
and then your child will take
"standardized" tests. These use
the same standards to measure
student performance across the
country. Everyone takes the same
test according to the same rules.
This makes it possible to measure
each student's performance against
that of others. The group with
whom a student's performance is
compared is a "norm group" and
consists of many students of the
same age or grade who took the
|Ask the School
could be useful for you to know the
school's policies and practices on
giving standardized tests and the
use of test scores. Ask your child's
teacher or guidance counselor about
the kinds of tests your child will
take during the year--and the
schedule for testing.
other thing: some schools give
students practice in taking tests.
This helps to make sure that they
are familiar with directions and
test format. Find out whether your
child's school gives "test-taking
practice" on a regular basis or
will provide such practice if your
child needs it.
|Avoid Test Anxiety
| It's good to be concerned
about taking a test. It's not good to
get "test anxiety." This is excessive
worry about doing well on a test and
it can mean disaster for a student.
Students who suffer from test
anxiety tend to worry about success
in school, especially doing well on
tests. They worry about the future,
and are extremely self-critical.
Instead of feeling challenged by the
prospect of success, they become
afraid of failure. This makes them
anxious about tests and their own
abilities. Ultimately, they become
so worked up that they feel
incompetent about the subject matter
or the test.
It does not help to tell the child
to relax, to think about something
else, or stop worrying. But there
are ways to reduce test anxiety.
Encourage your child to do these
- Space studying over days or
weeks. (Real learning occurs
through studying that takes place
over a period of time.) Understand
the information and relate it to
what is already known. Review it
more than once. (By doing this,
the student should feel prepared
at exam time.)
- Don't "cram" the night
before--cramming increases anxiety
which interferes with clear
thinking. Get a good night's
sleep. Rest, exercise, and eating
well are as important to
test-taking as they are to other
- Read the directions carefully
when the teacher hands out the
test. If you don't understand
them, ask the teacher to explain.
- Look quickly at the entire
examination to see what types of
questions are included (multiple
choice, matching, true/ false,
essay) and, if possible, the
number of points for each. This
will help you pace yourself.
- If you don't know the answer to
a question, skip it and go on.
Don't waste time worrying about
it. Mark it so you can identify it
as unanswered. If you have time at
the end of the exam, return to the
|Do's and Don't's
can be a great help to your children
if you will observe these do's and
don't's about tests and testing:
be too anxious about a child's
test scores. If you put too much
emphasis on test scores, this
can upset a child.
encourage children. Praise them
for the things they do well. If
they feel good about themselves,
they will do their best.
Children who are afraid of
failing are more likely to
become anxious when taking tests
and more likely to make
judge a child on the basis of a
single test score. Test scores
are not perfect measures of what
a child can do. There are many
other things that might
influence a test score. For
example, a child can be affected
by the way he or she is feeling,
the setting in the classroom,
and the attitude of the teacher.
Remember, also, that one test is
simply one test.
with your child's teacher as
often as possible to discuss
his/her progress. Ask the
teacher to suggest activities
for you and your child to do at
home to help prepare for tests
and improve your child's
understanding of schoolwork.
Parents and teachers should work
together to benefit students.
sure your child attends school
regularly. Remember, tests do
reflect children's overall
achievement. The more effort and
energy a child puts into
learning, the more likely he/she
will do well on tests.
a quiet, comfortable place for
studying at home.
sure that your child is well
rested on school days and
especially the day of a test.
Children who are tired are less
able to pay attention in class
or to handle the demands of a
your child a well rounded diet.
A healthy body leads to a
healthy, active mind. Most
schools provide free breakfast
and lunch for economically
disadvantaged students. If you
believe your child qualifies,
talk to the school principal.
books and magazines for your
youngster to read at home. By
reading new materials, a child
will learn new words that might
appear on a test. Ask your
child's school about a suggested
outside reading list or get
suggestions from the public
|After the Test
important for children to review
test results. This is especially
true when they take teacher-made
tests. They can learn from a graded
exam paper. It will show where they
had difficulty and, perhaps, why.
This is especially important for
classes where the material builds
from one section to the next, as in
math. Students who have not mastered
the basics of math will be unable to
work with fractions, square roots,
beginning algebra, and so on.
the wrong answers with your
children and find out why they
answered as they did. Sometimes a
child misunderstands the way a
question is worded or
misinterprets what was asked. The
child may have known the correct
answer but failed to express it
important, too, for children to
see how well they used their time
on the test and whether guessing
was a good idea. This helps them
to change what they do on the next
test, if necessary.
and the child should read and
discuss all comments written by
the teacher. If there are any
comments that aren't clear, the
child should ask the teacher to
|Article Source - US
Department Of Education
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