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16 Steps to Help Your Child Prepare for Tests

To help children prepare adequately for tests (teacher-made or standardized), you can do several things to provide support and help create a positive test-taking experience.

  1. Encourage your child to study over a period of time rather than "cram" the night before.

  2. Encourage your child to listen carefully to all test-taking directions given by the teacher and to ask questions about those directions that are not clear.

  3. See that your child gets his/her regular amount of sleep before the tests and is, in general, well-rested.

  4. Make sure that your child eats his/her usual breakfast on the day of the test. Hunger can detract from a good test performance.

  5. Encourage your child to do his/her best.

  6. Find out from his/her teacher what you can do to help your child feel better about taking tests, If your child is nervous at test time.

  7. Make sure that your child is in school during the testing sessions. Do not plan any doctor or dental appointments on test dates.

  8. Make sure that you are aware of your child's performance and that you can help interpret the results to your child when test results become available from the teacher.

  9. Remember to keep well-informed about your child's tests. Know how test results are used, and how they will affect your child's placement in school.

  10. If there are major differences between standardized test scores and school grades, find out why.

  11. The PSAT is the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. You may hear this test referred to as the practice SAT or a junior SAT. It is taken in the 10th & 11th grade. The PSAT will give an idea of how students we likely to perform on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). There is also a PACT+ or a Preliminary, or American College Testing Program Assessment.

  12. PSAT also serves two other important functions. First, PSAT scores and grades are used to identify students to receive National Negro Merit Scholarship and scholarships from the National Hispanic Scholars Awards Program. Second, they are used, along with other criteria, to quality for consideration for appointment to military academies.

  13. The two major college admissions tests are the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) developed for the College Board by Educational Testing Service and the American College Testing Program Assessment (ACT). Students may want to take both examinations in order to increase their flexibility in applying to college.Some colleges will accept the score from either test; other colleges will require one or the other.

  14. Students should take the SAT, or ACT,test at least once in the junior year. Ask the school or the Education Specialist in your Urban League affiliate for information on fee waivers.

  15. Results of standardized test such as the SAT can be obtained from the test developer. Answer sheets and booklets can be obtained. Reviewing them will help determine your child's strengths and weakness.

  16. The best way to prepare for tests is to study, know the work, and take the right courses.



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