Standardized test taking is par for the course for our kids these days. The tests begin in elementary school, and because the teachers are pressured by how the test results impact their jobs, it can become a stressful time in the classroom. Helping your child prepare for his first standardized testing experience does not have to be a stressful process. However, to make it easier, I’ve put together a plan of action that includes state-by-state information, my favorite science and math apps, and tips for sending them off ready to achieve the day of the test.
State by State Standardized Test Information
Not every state uses the same test, but most states begin standardized testing in third grade. The most common standardized test given in elementary school is the Iowa Test. Formerly referred to as ITBS, the Iowa Testing Program was developed by the University of Iowa for testing students in the state from kindergarten through eighth grade and was adopted by several other states to have a measurable benchmark. These tests and others like it measure how well students are learning material compared to others in the same grade.
Apps to Help Kids Prepare for Standardized Tests
While the best thing you can do to help your kids be prepared for standardized testing is to make sure they have good study habits all the time, there are some apps that can help young minds be open to science, math, and reading. Some of my favorites include the apps from NASA, as well as the student section of their website. TaptoLearn.com has a number of apps for math and geography that are fun for kids.
Parent Support Required
The most important thing you can do as a parent, especially if your child is nervous or anxious about the testing, is to reassure him that it is only one test and that all you expect is his best effort. Support your child by making sure he gets a good night’s sleep and a breakfast with protein. Do not schedule vacations or appointments during testing.
Not all tests fairly measure your child’s abilities, and it’s ok to recognize that a single test is not the sole measure of your child. Some kids do very well on standardized tests but struggle to really understand what they are learning while other students can become so nervous that they simply cannot focus well enough to achieve great results on the test. Most kids fall somewhere in between. If your child is very nervous the morning of the testing, help him destress with breathing.