Private Orange County Tutoring Tips: 5 Ways to Survive Testing Week


It seems like kids are being tested more often and at a younger age these days. Although students and parents were always expecting to deal with standardized testing when it comes time to prepare for college, not every student is prepared for the amount of testing that occurs in the spring of each year. The specifics of the testing will vary by state and school district but, for the most part, each child will be tested for one week in the spring. More often than not, school districts don’t give out specific feedback on the students’ scores but rather compiles them as part of statistics for the overall school or district. Other times, parents will receive an overall score later in the summer but will not get a specific breakdown of what their child did well on and what they need help with. Depending on a child’s age there are a few different ways parents and students can prepare for the stress of these exams.

1. Keep it Low Pressure

A lot of younger students are not worried about standardized tests unless the people around them are worried about it. If an elementary or middle school student is taking such a test sometimes, it’s better just to keep it low pressure. Basic testing is not the same as the PSAT, SAT, or AP exams. School-wide testing won’t determine whether or not a student goes to college or receives a scholarship but rather it collects data for the school district as a whole. It’s good for students and parents to know strengths and weaknesses, but a low-stress situation will often result in a more accurate score (READ: “5 Tips to Remember Those Tricky Test Questions”).

2. Take Breaks

It’s important for kids to be able to take a break in between exams. Many students will be taking tests all day for an entire week, which means their break will come after school. They should also be encouraged to take breaks in between exams if allowed. Students who try to complete assignments in between classes or on the way to school will probably be overwhelmed by the end of the day. When not in the testing room, students should enjoy a snack, sometimes outside at recess, or whatever the teacher allows.

3. Ask Teachers if There Will Be Other Assignments Due That Week

It’s also important for students to know if other assignments will be due during testing week. Hopefully, students will only need to focus on their exams during that time. But older students may need to finish incomplete assignments or get things handed in by the end of the academic year. If a paper or project is due the week of testing, it’s better to know this ahead of time. It may be distressing for students to be in the testing room all day and then have to come home and complete a project.

4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Open communication is another way to survive a testing week. If students are curious why they’re being tested, they should feel like it’s okay to ask. Parents might also be confused as to the specific purpose of exams and should feel free to email the teacher or administration. In addition to direct communication, there are some great resources online that can inform parents and students. These specific websites will vary by school district and state.

5. Practice Good Nutrition and Exercise

For students to be totally focused on their school-wide testing, it’s important they have good nutrition and exercise that week. Younger students can participate in sports or simply play outside. Although older students might have other academic or work commitments, they should at least have a chance to go for a walk in the fresh air for 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, students of all ages should make sure they’re getting enough protein, fruits and veggies, and hydration during this time (READ: “Super Foods and Testing”).

The best way to prep for finals is with the help of a private Orange Country tutor. Call us today for more information.

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