While many students may already be dreaming up their summer break plans, schools are gearing up for the end-of-year testing! Standardized state tests, exams, and final projects can get a student sweating just talking about them. But that doesn’t have to be the case — and it shouldn’t be! Apex Leadership Co. offers tips to help students properly prepare so they don’t panic when testing days arrive.
Seems obvious, right? Students might roll their eyes at the concept of study time, but ultimately being prepared for a test means fully understanding the material. If a student takes the necessary time to go over study guides and reading material, take practice tests, and so on, they should have no qualms on test day. Apex understands that this is easier said than done… After all, spending time with friends after school sounds a lot more desirable than cracking into a book after six (plus!) hours of the school day. That’s where parents and guardians can step in…
Parents, guardians, and teachers can help make studying a little more fun by encouraging small study sessions with friends. It’s a good idea to keep these sessions short — 20- to 30-minute increments will help kids can stay focused on the material and engaged throughout the entire time. Scheduling several study sessions (even via Zoom) for a few weeks prior to a test will ensure students are well prepared for the test. For those that concentrate better alone, make sure they have access to a quiet study area that is free of distractions.
Sleep is so underrated! Studies have proven that the brain works best after a good night’s rest. So prior to a big test, make sure kids get to bed early. A soothing bedtime routine can ensure they don’t toss and turn all night fretting over the next day’s test. Make some warm milk or tea, turn off electronics at least an hour before “lights out,” run a bath, or do some relaxing reading before tucking them in to help encourage those all-important z’s.
Most people have heard that bananas are brain food — and it’s true. Other “brain foods” include eggs, yogurt, blueberries, cottage cheese, and nuts. Having a healthy meal before to a test can help students perform better. On the morning of a big test, make time for breakfast and send students with a few snacks to nosh between classes.
Test day can certainly incite some jitters and it’s perfectly natural to be nervous before a big exam or presentation. However, anxiety can quickly become overwhelming for youth. For those that tend to have anxious feelings, parents might consider some easy breathing techniques that kids can practice when both their bodies and minds are racing. Mindful breathing can do wonders in reducing anxiety and stress. Parents can ask their pediatricians for specific breathing exercises to help calm pre-test anxiety.
Finally, parents and teachers can remind students that, when all is said and done, it’s just one test! While, of course, students should prepare, have a positive attitude, and do their best, one test (any test!) does not determine their self-worth nor can it make or break their entire educational career. Taking the pressure off of test time can help students do better — so help them keep it in perspective, encourage them along the way and once it’s over, let it go!