The Schmooze

5 Ways to Support Your Child During Test Prep

All students feel a certain degree of stress when prepping for a test. When it comes to “high-stakes” assessments such as the Regents, these feelings may heighten. As a parent, you want to see your child succeed in school, but it’s important also to recognize the emotional impact that test prep and test stress may have on them. Below are 5 strategies to practice at home to help support your child during this year's test season.

Communicate with Teachers

It’s important to maintain regular, open lines of communication with your child’s teacher to stay up to date on their academic and social progress. This should be happening all year round but is especially crucial during test-prep season. See if your school or teacher uses platforms such as Remind to practice consistent communication within your school’s community.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

It’s important to praise and celebrate when your child shows improvements in a specific skill or comes home excited about something new they learned in class. Keep this positivity in mind when they are struggling as well. Experts at PBS agree: developing their confidence is ultimately the goal over a high test score.

Keep Things in Perspective

While these state tests are often referred to as “high-stakes” assessments, it’s important to remember – both for your child and yourself – that the scores on these tests are just a number and are not indicative of your child’s overall success or worth.

Practice Healthy Habits

Brain food and good sleep are essential every day, but especially during test-prep. On the morning of a big test, make your child his or her favorite (healthy) breakfast and make sure they go into the day well-hydrated.

Seek Outside Support

One of the best things that a parent can do to help their child is to seek additional, outside support. Look into resources that may be run through your school, district, or local community center that’s geared directly towards test prep. Programs such as the Mid-Island Y JCC’s Learning Center are taught by state-certified teachers and provide prep and review courses for tests such as the Regents, SATs, and AP, as well as tutoring and college essay writing tips.

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