Preparing for Standardized Testing While Having Fun
Many students think preparing for standardized testing must be rote and boring, when in reality it is a great opportunity to have fun while mastering new knowledge and skills. Finding ways to infuse fun into study sessions will boost students' confidence and give them something to look forward to as the testing day draws near. Making it fun shouldn't be difficult. Instead, find ways to integrate your child's interests and strengths into these study sessions.
- Find a friend
Many students work well with peers and learn more within a study group. If your child is preparing for a standardized test, consider building peer based study sessions into the preparation calendar. Once a week your child could join a study group with others who are preparing for the same exam. This peer interaction can help build confidence and provide a welcome change of pace from the typical solo study session.
- Celebrate strengths
At times, your child may feel overwhelmed by standardized testing preparation. A great way to keep the studying fun and stress free is to celebrate your child's achievements and strengths. Build incentives into the study schedule for the amount of material mastered or when your child becomes proficient with a difficult skill or concept. Some children respond well to goal setting with a tangible incentive at the end of a set period of time. For example, at the end of a successful week of studying for the ACT your child may earn a trip to the movies with a friend or the ability to opt out of a weekly chore.
- Make a game out of it
Studying for a standardized test doesn't have to be boring. There are many great educational games you can play with your child while preparing for exam day.
- Card Sharks
If your child likes playing card games you can put a fun diversion to good use. Use sticky notes to attach test prep strategies or content specific information to the cards. During the next study break ask your child to play the game, solitaire is a good choice, and remove the sticky notes as they appear on the cards. At the end of the game collect the sticky notes and review the each before placing them back on the cards for a future study break.
- Online vocabulary games
There are many great online or mobile app vocabulary games that students can use to study for a standardized test. These games boost your child's understanding of challenging vocabulary over time using an engaging and interactive platform. Many of them allow your child to earn badges or play games against other users for additional challenges.
- Track the Train
Math problems involving two trains leaving the station are quintessential on standardized tests. They assess a student's algebraic proficiency and the ability to accurately solve a problem. Spice up studying for these problems using a United States map and the cities your child has already visited. The distance formula, d = r*t (distance =rate * time), won't seem nearly as tedious when it involves familiar places and travels.
- Create the perfect study space
Having a dedicated space to study often helps students focus on the content and avoid being distracted by the surroundings or other family members. Help your child create the perfect study space and invest in fun touches that your child will enjoy. Allow your child to decorate the space or pick out desk accessories that add a touch of whimsy to the weekly study schedule.