Helping children form good test taking habits


When a student takes a test, the student demonstrates that they have the ability to comprehend course material and proves their ability to perform certain tasks. No matter the child’s academic level, the approach the student takes in order to study and prepare for a test is just about the same. Some individuals may feel as though putting in hours and hours of studying for the upcoming test is the best, most effective way to study. The truth is that there are other methods that can be performed in order to stay on top of the material that has to be retained that can actually prevent the student from getting burned out.

Be well informed

Upon learning that there is an upcoming test in any given subject, make sure to find out what materials will be featured on the test. Find out from the teacher administering the test what type of test it will be. Finding out if the test will be an essay, multiple choice, true or false or short answer test will benefit the child when preparing to study for the test. As an added measure, it may also be wise for the student to inquire how the test will be graded as well. Having too much information when preparing to study for a test is never a bad thing.

Do not procrastinate

It is not a good idea to make an attempt to cram and study the night before the test. Scheduling one- or two-hour study sessions per night during the daily study sessions is much better than performing a long study session on the night prior to taking a test.

Set study goals

Set a personal goal for each study session. If the child is prepping to study for multiple chapters, schedule a study session for each chapter. Remember, repetition is essential when studying for a test. Reading and rereading the notes that have been taken in class will help the child to retain the given information. While reviewing the notes, conceal them with an additional piece of paper or simply flip the notes over periodically and recite the summarized notes out loud. Having the child act as though they are explaining the material to a group or a class can also help them to fully comprehend information.

Create self-made study aids

Having the student create their own study aids will be added assurance that the child will pass their test with flying colors. Have the student create an outline of the notes that they have taken just of the main ideas along with a timeline of specific and important dates, or a timeline of the order of the events of the main ideas. It is also quite helpful to create flashcards for the timeline in the order of events, important dates and vocabulary.

Study in groups

Studying in a group can be more effective for the child rather than studying alone. The experience of studying in a group can be for fun and the students will feel more comfortable and confident. Typically, study groups contain about four to five people. That way, each student will have the opportunity to speak, making sure that the material that is being covered is being understood.

When the study group is formed, there should be a vote on a leader. Having a leader preside over the study group will help the group run smoothly. The leader’s main role is to make sure everyone is on task and focused, ensuring the study group won’t become too social and veer away from the given topic.

Implementing the above methods when assisting a child to study for a test will ease the child’s mind and will certainly have a lasting effect towards further test taking preparations. When interacting with children and working together assisting the child with these study habits and keeping sure that they are on track will make all the difference. The child will have a feeling of self-worth and higher self-esteem just by seeing the parent cares and understands and wants to see them succeed.


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