Taking the Stress out of Preparing for Standardized Tests

Standardized tests can seem like the bane of an entire school’s existence. But the stress they can cause students, parents, teachers and administrators only hinders student performance. Minimizing stress for test day is one of the most important factors for preparing your students to take any test. Here are a few ways to take the stress out of preparing for standardized tests.

Purpose
It can be very easy for students to look at standardized tests as an isolated event in their lives that’s seemingly irrelevant. Help students recognize the connection of standardized testing to their learning, and more importantly, to their lives. Students need to see a connection otherwise they’ll miss the value standardized tests can actually have on their educational experience.Start by explaining the purpose and illustrating the importance. But don’t stop there—use a

Start by explaining the purpose and illustrating the importance. But don’t stop there—use a class blog to give students an opportunity to interact with teachers, administrators and other students on the importance of their performance on standardized tests. Once students take ownership of their experience, they will easily see more value and take test preparation more seriously.

Perspective
Perception is said to be reality, and, as cliché as it sounds, it’s quite true. The way students perceive standardized testing plays a large role in how they prepare and their results. Consider your students’ perspective on the overall experience of standardized testing.Give them on opportunity to share their initial perspectives in a safe place like a class

Give them an opportunity to share their initial perspectives in a safe place like a class discussion board. Let them be free in sharing their thoughts. From there, you can use the discussions to reshape their perspective of standardized testing, helping them see the value.

Practice
We all know that there’s no such thing as preparing without practice, but practice doesn’t have to be monotonous. Of course, there will be times when you have to be very strict with practice techniques, but consider mixing it up a bit with fun practice activities.Students are attached to their phones and tablets so try incorporating things like SMS messaging or even video chats into your practice. Encourage students to quiz each other on math problems and to try using vocabulary words in their text messages.

Students are attached to their phones and tablets so try incorporating SMS messaging or even video chats into your practice. Encourage students to quiz each other on math problems and to try using vocabulary words in their text messages.

Once students become more motivated about standardized testing, they’ll likely have a more positive attitude about preparation. And if you begin incorporating creative ways for them to practice, they might find preparation a little less stressful.