Taking Time to Talk with Your Child about Tests
Assessments are part of life at school, but they don’t have to be a source of stress. Helping your child prepare properly for an exam is important, and the conversation doesn’t have to stop after the test is complete.
- Let your child know that you are proud of his/her achievements and together you will work on troublesome subject matter.
- Learn about the type of tests the classroom teacher is using to prepare the children for the tests.
- Learn about the type of tests the school, district, and state are using to measure the achievement of your child.
- Find the school, district, or state website for information on the test. Samples of previous tests given may also be found at the website. Use as practice items for your child to prepare them.
- Be familiar with the terms used on the test (such as proficient, percentile, and norm-referenced) and be prepared to ask what those terms mean when talking with the classroom teacher, counselor, or principal.
- If needed, schedule a meeting with the teacher to discuss your child’s test results.
- Ask your child’s teacher for tips and ideas about working with your child at home. Are there specific packets or materials available that will help your child improve?
- Ask the teacher if a private tutor might be available. Are there resources the teacher can provide?
- Create a plan with the teacher to periodically check on your child’s progress in deficient areas.
Involvement before and after any test can help children achieve their goals in the 21st century classroom.
Carrie Jasper is director of outreach to parents and families at the U.S. Department of Education