Preparing your student for standardized testing

By Huntington Learning Center

Oradell, NJ February 4, 2015 —Currently, in the United States, standardized testing plays a major role in public schools. Your child could take more than one standardized test during a school year and teachers may spend classroom time preparing students for upcoming tests. On a daily basis, parents can support their child before, during and after these tests in various ways that will help their child be more prepared on test day.

Before the test-As a parent you need to be prepared before the test. Most schools will send home information in advance of the test about testing schedules and preparation plans. That includes, what the test is, what it will measure, and how the results will be analyzed and used. Check with your school to see if standardized tests results are used for placement in classes for the following school year. Here are steps you can take to prepare your child:

  • Help your child with subjects that are difficult. Workbooks target test prep by offering practice exercises and questions similar to the ones on the test.
  • Put your child’s mind at ease if you think they might have any anxiety. Standardized testing is a reality that children are forced to deal with. Practice relaxation tips to use during the test.
  • Talk with your child’s teacher if you have concerns. Difficulty with standardized tests could be the symptom of a problem. Huntington Learning Centers offer academic evaluations that helps identify the areas causing a child trouble and can help to prepare for standardized tests.

On test day-
"It is imperative that your child gets a good night’s rest the night before and eats a healthy breakfast.  This ensures your child can work to their maximum potential," says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center.  Huntington suggest the following test taking tactics. Here is a list of test taking strategies students can use to answer questions:

  • Read the question first. Read the entire question first to make sure you understand what it’s asking. With reading passage questions, read the questions first to guide reading.
  • Look for key words. Identify key words in the question, such as compare, except, and author’s intent, that will guide you towards choosing the correct answer.
  • Read every answer choice before choosing the correct answer. After reading the question, stop and think about the answer before reading all the possible answers. Then eliminate the unlikely answer choices and identify the correct answer.
  • Answer the easier questions first. Answer the questions you know, skip the challenging ones, and then they go back and answer the skipped questions.
  • Make smart guesses. When you don’t know the answer to a question, make an educated guess, unless there’s a penalty for guessing. Educated guesses are made by eliminating the incorrect choices; apply what you know on the particular topic, and then picking the best answer choice that remains. 
  • Stick with your first answer. Don’t second-guess yourself; the first answer is probably right. Unless you are certain that the first answer was wrong, don’t change any answers.
  • Pace yourself. Budget time wisely so you can finish the test.  Don’t spend too much time on any one question.
  • Check your work carefully. Check that you’ve answered every question.

After the test -
Assessments vary from test to test, but the test scores should include information that helps you interpret the results. Talk with your child's teacher if you have any questions about the test results. Usually, the results are made available to both parents and teachers. Remember that standardized tests cannot measure the sum total of your child’s progress. It is only one assessment tool designed to measure a certain set of skills.

Lower than expected test results on standardized tests might indicate your child is struggling. It’s better to get help sooner rather than later. Huntington’s highly trained tutors work with your child individually, at his or her own pace, to master each skill before moving on to more difficult tasks and more advanced learning.


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