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How to Prepare Your Student for State Standardized Tests

students take a state standardized test

State standardized tests evoke anxiety in students and teachers alike. These exams can be very intimidating to the students and cause parents to worry about their child’s performance. 

Keep in mind that state standardized tests are used to set education policy, track patterns, and allocate resources. In other words, they’re not really about your child at all. While they should try to do their best, these exams do not determine future success or academic placement. 

In preparing for these tests, don’t put additional pressure on your student. Instead, focus your energies on encouraging their efforts and following these four steps. 

Prioritize Attendance

Don’t let them miss school for non-urgent reasons. Of course, you should keep your child home if they’re sick or for a family emergency, but don’t skip school to attend a sporting event or other optional activities. Good attendance gives your child their best chance at succeeding on a state standardized test as they won’t miss out on learning new material. 

Support Good Reading Comprehension

Almost every state has a mandated test for reading comprehension. Test instructions and questions are also delivered in written form. Children who are good readers will find these state standardized tests less stressful than students who don’t enjoy reading and struggle with reading comprehension. 

The only way to get better at reading is to practice. Make reading fun by making it a family activity! Encourage your child to read books they enjoy, not just what they have to read for school. The more time they spend reading, the better, no matter what genre or title they enjoy. 

Start young. The more you read to your child from the start, the better their reading comprehension will be as they get older. Make reading fun by joining a local library book club or summer reading challenge.

Don’t Send Them to School Tired– Mentally or Physically

There’s two different types of tiredness: mentally burnt out and physically drowsy. If your child doesn’t get enough sleep, they’re likely to be physically tired the next day and have a hard time staying awake and paying attention in class. If your child has been pushing themselves hard mentally, studying for a test or completing lots of homework, they may find it hard to absorb new information or remember what they studied. 

To avoid sending your child to school tired, make sure they take breaks while studying, get to bed early, and eat a balanced nutritious diet. This is particularly important on state standardized testing days. Make sure your child goes to bed earlier than usual the night before an exam and eats a good nutritious breakfast that will give them enough energy to get through the testing process.


Involve Your Child’s Teacher

Don’t wait until there’s a problem before you talk to your child’s teacher. Be proactive about your child’s education. Attend parent-teacher conferences and don’t be afraid to reach out to the teacher with questions or concerns before a problem arises. Your student’s teacher can suggest exercises or give extra credit for work done at home. 

It’s especially important to discuss your child’s progress in class before large tests, like state-mandated standardized exams.

Keep State Standardized Tests in Perspective

Remember, state standardized tests are made to assess how well the school is doing at educating your child. Teachers and administrators may feel some stress over this, but all your child has to do is their best. If your child is overly stressed, remind them that standardized tests are not grade altering. They only exist to help the school and the district recognize where they can do better.

Confident kids do best on state standardized testing. At LeadYouth, we teach our learners to be confident leaders with the emotional intelligence needed to tackle obstacles with resilience and grit. Give your child the gift of confidence. Sign them up for a LeadYouth membership today


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