Test stress isn’t just for college students studying for finals.
Parents know that grade-school and middle-school students experience major anxiety with tears, stomach problems and sleep troubles.
1. Clear the schedule.
Contact your school to find out which days your child will be testing. On the day before and on test days, avoid any outside appointments, trips and anything else that may cause your child more stress.
2. Check for sample test questions.
Many states have practice tests on the Internet. If you can’t find a sample test online, ask a teacher for help. Getting the right answers on practice tests can boost a kid’s confidence. So can working through the wrong answers.
Find AzMERIT sample tests at azmeritportal.org/sample-tests.
3. Ixnay the donut holes and late-night binge watching.
Maintaining healthy habits is so often overlooked because it is so simple and obvious. But diet, sleep and exercise plays a role in academic performance. Skip the sugary breakfast and serve your child a high protein, high-fiber meal, such as eggs and whole grain toast. And children need more sleep than adults, so limiting screen time and getting to bed early can go a long way.
4. Share your hard-won, parent perspective
Tests can provide valuable insights into where your child is excelling — or where they need to improve — but it’s only one test. Parents know this. They’ve been through test days. They know that the results won’t determine their child’s future and can’t measure other life skills like adaptability and responsibility. So share that perspective with the child.
5. Think like a proton and stay positive.
Positive and supportive messages will help your child feel more confident on test day. Children take their cues from you. Let your child know you believe in them.
Expect More Arizona is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan education advocacy organization working to ensure every child has access to an excellence education, every step of the way. For more information visit ExpectMoreArizona.org and ExpectMoreArizona.org/AzMERIT.