An elementary school student’s first test can be a difficult and scary task if they are not sure how to prepare to take a test. As the parent, your involvement can help make the experience overall far more enjoyable, rewarding and rich in knowledge by helping your child study for the test.
First Test Preparation: Be Aware of Test Dates
The first element of helping your elementary school student prepare for tests is knowing when tests are happening. When you meet the teacher at the beginning of the year, ask what the best way is for you to know the schedule of tests, whether there is a class website you can visit, parent handouts that will come home, or whether children are aware of tests. Test preparation should begin between a week and 4 days in advance of the test date.
First Test Preparation: Make Use of Textbook Tools
Most school textbooks will provide a variety of tools to help your student review and study for tests. From section questions at the end of each lesson in the book to chapter reviews and practice tests at the ends of the chapters, the textbook will make your work a lot easier. If teachers are using non-textbook curriculum, they will often send home a study guide or practice test to help students and parents know what material will be on the test. These materials are your tools to help your child to study the correct areas that will be included on the test.
First Test Preparation: Review Material Before Quizzing
Rather than beginning test preparation by quizzing your child on the material, start by reviewing what they have learned. Using the textbook or study guide, have your child teach you what they have learned. As you notice any holes in their understanding, remind them of the topics and have them continue to teach those topics to you. If they have older or younger siblings, see if your children can teach the material to them as well, because the more practice they have, the better they will know it.
First Test Preparation: Practice Test
At least 2 days before the in-class test, have your child take a practice test, either from the textbook or with questions you created based on your review of the material. For the practice test, have your child in a quiet area like the real test conditions would be, and do not provide study materials (unless they will be allowed in the real test).
First Test Preparation: Study Weak Areas
That day and the next day, you can go over the practice test together and further study areas that were weak spots. If needed, make a few more practice questions to assess when your child knows that area well enough. Make sure to not overdo the studying, because after all, it is just elementary school, but do your best to help your child be prepared for the test. And of course, make sure they get plenty of sleep the night before the test, and breakfast on the morning of the test!