Test Taking Tips for Elementary through High School Students

Kelly Curtis - Professional speaker, writer and counselor*** Monthly Feature Column ***

Positively Speaking
Building Assets in your Kids
by Kelly Curtis, M.S., author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things.

This month, students in third-tenth graders throughout Wisconsin take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination. The test results for the elementary through high school students give us data about the achievement and ability of students at each school throughout the state, and also compare performance between schools. Most states have some type of standardized testing system.

Search Institute has identified Academic achievement as one of the 40 Developmental Assets. Research shows these are characteristics of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future.

Like with other tests, there are ways students can help themselves be better prepared for the test, and these strategies can benefit students in future test-taking as well. Here are some test taking tips:

Get at 8-10 hours of sleep the night before the test. Big tests require a lot of energy and stamina to remained focused for several hours.

Eat a nutritious breakfast, including complex carbohydrates and protein, to make your energy last as long as possible. Foods like eggs, cereal and whole-wheat toast energize your brain to think more clearly and much longer.

Have fun the night before the test, rather than cramming. Watch a movie, play a board game or participate in a sports activity, to help your mind and emotions stay relaxed during the time leading up to the test.

• What if I break my pencil??
Address “what if” questions prior to the test day, to put your mind at ease. Most test-day problems are minor and are nothing to worry about.

Find your “happy thought.” Visualize something that puts a smile on your face, and use this when you’re feeling anxious before or during the test.

Of course, the best preparation for standardized tests an others is done in the weeks, months and years leading up to he test. Excellent attendance and the learning students do every day is the best preparation.

What do you do to help your kids prepare for tests?

Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.

Kelly Curtis is a Wisconsin school counselor and author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. To read more about Kelly, please visit her Weblog, Pass the Torch or follow her on Twitter.


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