All posts tagged: exams

Supporting your child through final exams

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Rah, Rah, Ray! Hip Hip Hooray!

You can pass your exam today!

Sounds corny, right? Yet, if you and your child are trying to follow the Thinking Organized steps of preparing for examinations to the best of your abilities, then your student will be as ready as possible for the sometimes grueling process of showing what she’s learned since January. Now it’s time to bring on the positive attitude and take the role of being your child’s cheerleader. Optimism leads to confidence and success and if strong enough, quickly becomes contagious. Here are some tips to help you  cheer your child on to her personal best performance during exam week:

  1. Stay calm. Don’t panic! A parent who paces around the house or voices concerns about failure can make a child a nervous wreck. However, a parent who exudes unwavering confidence will reduce the student’s stress, allowing her to fully focus on the task at hand.
  2. Avoid the “we” mentality. Part of being an effective cheerleader is keeping the focus on your child. Helping create study guides and verbally quizzing her when requested is positive support. However, sometimes parents can become too involved in the process which takes the accomplishment away from the child. Keep the focus on your student’s efforts, while encouraging her every step of the way.
  3. Provide Quality Work Time. Minimize TV watching during exam week and enlist the whole family in avoiding noisy distractions during study time. Parents can help by choosing quiet activities while the child is studying, such as reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle.
  4. Encourage healthy habits. Serve nutritionally balanced meals and minimize the junk food, especially sugar before bedtime. Persuade your student to get enough rest each night. Remind everyone to release anxiety with some form of physical exercise daily, even just a short walk in the evening.

Nothing helps a child succeed like having a parent who believes in her. Let your child know that you understand that she’s under stress. Praise her for being such a conscientious student. Not only will being your child’s cheerleader help her through exam week, but it will also establish a positive attitude toward upcoming academic challenges. So are you ready Mom and Dad? It’s time to get in the game and cheer your budding scholar to success!

smortoSupporting your child through final exams
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Testing Anxiety

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Nearly everyone has felt nervous during a test. Anxiety is normal anytime we are being judged. Clearly, the best remedy for test anxiety is feeling well prepared. This involves all the different Thinking Organized strategies: material organization, time management, learning styles, memorization, note-taking and written language. Preparing for tests and exams is an important and weighty matter, and will be the focus of the May 2011 Thinking Organized Tip.

However, some students, no matter how well prepared, suffer from such a degree of anxiety during testing that their performance is adversely affected. Here are some suggestions that parents can encourage their children to try during a stressful test:

  • Being well prepared is the best remedy for nervousness. Studying well ahead of time will help your child feel certain that the information is secure in memory.
  • Change positions to help relax. Even a shoulder shrug or a different seating position may help relieve tense muscles.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Help your student remember to acknowledge that she is doing her best, which is all that is asked of her.
  • Remind her that some anxiety is normal. It’s just a reminder that she wants to score well. A reasonable amount of nervousness can be a good thing – it can provide extra energy and help students focus on the task at hand.
  • Don’t panic when other students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for being the first done.

All of the Thinking Organized strategies take time and practice. Learning to beat test anxiety is no different. Although test apprehension will not go away overnight, facing and dealing with these anxieties ahead of time will help your child learn valuable stress management techniques that will be beneficial far beyond her school days.

Remember to check our May 2011 Monthly Tip for more test preparation ideas and let us know if you have any anxiety-busters that might work for other students.

smortoTesting Anxiety
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