Tests are a part of every child's school life. When I was a child in elementary school (so many years ago!), we took tests A LOT: There were the usual Friday spelling tests and math quizzes, of course. Then there were "Weekly Reader" tests in all our subject areas, plus Scholastic Reading Lab tests to progress to the next reading level. I was very competitive with the spelling and math tests because they were public. The Scholastic Reading Lab tests were my favorite because we were able to use a special color pencil to fill in a graph with the results. By the mid-year point my graph looked like it had the potential to be a magnificent rainbow.
Each successive test’s results simply reinforced the picture of potential in my head. Not everyone has the good fortune to have the opportunity to make their test results into rainbows, but we should.
We're coming up to towards the end of the school year. This is the season of tests, and it should be a time to think of potential. This shouldn’t be “stress” time for any of our children. Testing is an organized way to find out what a child knows and how well the child can navigate a test maker’s intention. Some children are nonchalant about testing events, almost uncaring. Others take on the attitudes of the adults surrounding them during the testing season. Often these adults are nervous about the test results because the adults attach their own personal accomplishment to the child’s testing outcomes.
At Karin Diskin, we teach strategies specially tailored to each child. For the child who appears nonchalant, we help them to learn techniques to use their energy wisely to accomplish their best at the moment of the test. For the child who gets stressed out just thinking about testing, we teach testing strategies to lessen that anxiety. For both types of children, the strategies are ones that they can pull out and use throughout their academic career.
We are all confronted with many tests throughout our academic and work careers - life itself can be one big test sometimes. Using positive strategies for these events helps to boost confidence and self-assurance, makes for better results, and helps your child to address all the "tests" in their life head on, without fear.
Here’s an easy tip that I share with all of my students for reading tests:
Scan the questions BEFORE reading the passage or excerpt. This helps give you the flavor of the test maker’s intent.. It also allows you to work through the passage with confidence because you won’t feel surprised by the questions at the end of the “read.”
I always tell my students “use what you already know.” Scanning the questions first helps you to “already know” what the test maker wants from you. When it comes time to answer the questions, read the question again to make sure that you’ve read it completely. Then you can be in charge of yourself rather than the test taking charge of you.
Here at Karin Diskin, we have many more strategies for successful test taking. Call us here in Los Angeles at 310-909-4387 and schedule in-home or online tutoring sessions for test preparation and test-taking strategies.