Taming the Tension: Last Minute Preparation Tactics for Test Taking

test taking

Students and parents understand the importance of tests and the need to study to do well.  However, aside from the actual material, students do better by partaking in several rituals and forming good study habits.  Like playing sports, success is contingent on proper preparation.  Here’s how to help a student perform better.

Good Night’s Rest

Many students don’t realize the importance of sleep.  Getting enough sleep is an ongoing problem with American kids who go to school, play sports, chip in at home, and may have part-time jobs.  Doctors suggest a growing child should get between 8 and ten hours of sleep per night.  Moreover, it’s important for a student to realize that mental activities, such as studying and going to school five days per week, is tiring.  Brains work best when rested, so make sure your student makes it a habit to get to bed at an early hour.

Ergonomic Aid

Depending on the subject related to the exam, a student may have a significant amount of writing to do.  Hands get cramped and grow tired while clutching a pen or pencil throughout the period.  An aching hand can influence how a student feels and performs on an exam.  Tell them to bring a stress ball to the exam to relieve hand muscles as well as break from clutching the pen or pencil.

Time is of the Essence

Students must memorize facts and grow familiar with course material, yet they also must understand how to use time wisely.  For example, a particular problem may be difficult, which requires more time while increasing stress.  Afterward, a student realizes they have to rush through the rest of the exam in addition to feeling more stressed.  Remind students to get in the habit of scanning sections or entire tests versus addressing problems in a sequential order.  Problems that are initially difficult can be passed over, which saves time and lowers levels of stress.

It’s a Marathon and Not a Race

Most adults can likely relate to the notion of cramming for a test.  Those who do not regularly review material or do all their homework will be at a disadvantage as test time draws near.  Poor habits have students attempting to learn weeks of material in one or a couple of nights.  Most teachers provide students with a course calendar so students know when tests are coming.  Get students in the habit of studying a little bit each week and reviewing what was learned in class versus cramming the week of the test.  Moreover, have students discover particular resources dedicated toward subjects or tests.  For example, this resource focuses on the WISC-V.

Create a Study Calendar

It would be much easier to excel in a class if the student only had one or two at a time, yet most students take five or more classes, which means they could have two or more tests in one week or even one day.  Therefore, get your student in the habit of creating a calendar for each week.  That way, they can balance studying with work, sports, family, friends, etc.  Also, since some weeks will include multiple tests, it will help them balance their time so no one subject takes a backseat to others due to limited time and conserved energy.

Louie Collier is an educator and a Dad of 4, his kids ranging in age from 7 to 18. He feels he knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in his parenting articles.

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