Tests are a part of life for children of all ages, and they are also very important. Naturally, as the parent, you want them to do as well as possible and to reach their full potential. But preparing for tests can be difficult for children without the right help and support from their parents. Here are some tips for creating constructive study habits to help your children reach their full potential.
Create a Study Routine
There are many things involved in preparing for a test, and one of the first things you should do when you find out that your child has an upcoming test is to devise a study routine with them (unless this is something that they are happy to do on their own.)
A study routine means putting a certain amount of time aside each day (whatever seems reasonable for the test in question), and sticking to it. This could mean half an hour as soon as they get home from school, or one hour after dinner. When and how much is up to you, but make sure your child sticks to the routine every day to get them into the habit of studying.
Make It Fun
Studying for a test is not every child’s idea of fun, so try to help them to make it interesting. One way to do this is to use flash cards. You could create these together, and even the process of making these cards will become part of the learning process.
You could also go online to take the studying further. One excellent resource is Memrise, a free website where you can create digital flash cards that your child can then practice with on their computer or tablet.
Practice Doing Tests
Practice makes perfect, and one of the best ways to help your child do well in their test is to practice taking similar tests in the run-up to the real thing. There are places where you can get hold of such tests, such as The Test Tutor, and these can be a huge help. If you do a few of these, your child will feel more confident going into the real test because they will be familiar with the process.
Go Over Test Best Practices
It is not guaranteed that your child’s teacher will teach them about best practices for tests, so give them some advice yourself. This includes reading over the whole test before starting on the first question, clearly crossing out writing that is not part of the answer, not spending too much time on difficult questions but to come back to them instead, and to always have a guess if they don’t know the answer.
Help Them to Relax
It’s naturally to feel nervous while preparing for a test, but watch out for signs that your child is becoming too stressed or anxious because this won’t help them. Reduce test anxiety by reminding them that you will always be proud of them if they just do their best, and that no one expects them to get everything right.
They are far more likely to perform to their full potential if they go into the test relaxed and confident in their abilities, so make sure they don’t feel too much pressure.
Give Them a Final Boost the Day Before
Finally, make sure they have the best chance possible of doing well on test day by ensuring they get a good night’s sleep the night before. If they are up until the early hours they will only get exhausted. Make sure they get up in good time and have a good breakfast, and they will be ready to perform in the test.
Beatrice Hannah is a retired teacher who has raised 3 kids of her own, and is now a grandmother to four girls. She draws on her experiences of teaching and parenting to write articles for parenting blogs about education and helping kids succeed today.