Bringing a Little Sanity to Standardized Testing: How Parents Can Help Their Kids Prepare


Standardized tests are stressful, dumb and very, very important.

Standardized tests are coming. And with them comes stress and anxiety, both for the student and his or her parents. Too often, good parents do exactly the wrong things that push their child away from studying. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Test time doesn’t have to create tension and drama in the home. The home environment is important for a student’s chance of success. Some parents unknowingly discourage their children from studying. But it’s not their fault: up until now, there hasn’t been a guide to helping parents through this anxious time.

How Parents Can Help Their Children Prepare for Tests

1. Be Absolutely Honest About the Test

We know how important these tests are, so at times we focus only on their importance and don’t admit that these tests aren’t accurate measures of intelligence.

Be honest with your child. Let him or her know that yes, these tests are stupid, but they’re important to get into college. This way, if your child complains that he or she hates the test, you can say “Of course you do! But we know how important it is.”

2. Set up a Schedule

Sit down with your child and together find three times during the week when he or she will study. Then set up one fifteen-minute check-in per week. With a schedule, you’ll be able to check if your child is studying without having to constantly talk about the test.

3. Ignore the Rumors!

There are a lot of urban myths floating around about standardized tests and high school and college admissions. Most of them are negative, anxiety-inducing and completely false.

Before you get stressed, talk to your guidance counselor or your tutor to see if what you’ve heard is true.

Want more tips on how to help your kids prepare for tests? Check out Test Prep Sanity: How to help your child excel on standardized tests without driving each other crazy!


About Author

Elie Venezky has been preparing families for standardized tests for 14 years. He founded Prestige Prep in 2001 and is currently its Educational Director. He finds standardized tests fascinating and will talk about them with just about anyone.

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