Q: My middle schooler has a standardized test coming up. How can I help her prepare?

A: Your child has probably invested a big chunk of time getting ready at school. But parents have a role to play at home, too.

For example, you can:
  • Review practice tests that teachers have given your child. Talk about how they went.
  • Discuss ways to memorize. Your child may want to write down information a few times or say it over and over. She might also come up with pictures in her mind to match information. Another idea: Group related information using charts or diagrams.
  • Suggest that your child use her own learning style. For example, a visual learner often benefits from applying lots of color to notes.
  • Review test-taking tips. Remind your child to look over the test before she answers any questions. She should also begin with the easiest questions and tackle the hardest questions last.
  • Help your child fight test anxiety. Practice relaxing techniques, such as closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. Tell your child you believe in her. Never focus on a certain score. Say, “You’re prepared. You can do it.”

Source: Lawrence J. Greene, The Resistant Learner: Helping Your Child Knock Down the Barriers to School Success, (St. Martin’s Griffin). Reprinted with permission from Copyright (c) 2008, The Parent Institute