It doesn't matter if it's final exams or weekly tests, children need to know how to prepare for tests and learn the secrets to successful test taking. Below are practical suggestions you can use to help your child prepare for middle school tests and the middle grade years.
Before the Test
During the middle grade years children pull back from their parents in an effort to become more independent. It's important to allow your tween the freedom to take charge regarding his studies, but you also have to know what's going on. Continue to ask questions about your child's school experience, so that if he's having trouble with a specific class you can step in and offer help before it gets ahead of him. If you find your child struggling in the middle grade years, make contact with his teacher and look into the possibility of finding a tutor or enlisting your child in an after-school tutoring program.
It's also a good idea to ask your tween to show you his quizzes or tests, so that you have an idea of your child's progress. You can also use these quizzes to help your child prepare for his middle school tests and exams.
Don't be anxious about your child's grades or about the test he is about to take. Tweens pickup on your emotions, and your anxieties and concerns may transfer to him, and that's not the best way to face a challenge.
Be sure your middle grade student knows he has your love and support. Praise his efforts, not the results of his efforts, and let him know that as long as he's doing his best, you're proud of him.
Middle School Tests and Tweens
In the middle grade years, it's important for tweens to practice organizational skills. Help your tween organize his assignments, and keep track of all tests and projects on the family calendar. This will help keep both of you prepared, help you organize your days, and find time to study and prepare.
Limit distractions when your child is studying. That may mean turning the television off, turning down the radio, asking visitors to come back later, and turning off your child's cell phone.
Some tweens need to study alone, others may benefit from having a study partner. See what works best for your tween.
Have your tween make flash cards or a sample study test that he takes himself.
Make sure your child has everything he needs on test day - such as pens, pencils, a calculator, books (in the case of open book tests), a rubber eraser, etc.
Encourage your tween to review for the test 3-5 days in advance, reviewing for 15 to 20 minutes each night. This will prevent your tween from having to cram or stay up late the night before in order to review the material.
Make sure your tween gets plenty of sleep the night before the test. Tweens need between 9 and 10 hours of sleep a night.
Begin the morning of the test with a healthy breakfast. Be sure your child's breakfast includes some protein and fruit.
Know the signs of anxiety or depression in children, and act immediately if your child exhibits any of these signs. During the middle grade years, some tweens may take tests well, others may suffer from test anxiety or stress. Know how to help your tween relieve stress if you think he's taking it all too seriously.