Helping Teach Your Child How to Be a Better Test Taker

Child doing math problems on graphing paper

Test-taking is often one of the most stressful parts of school for many children. According to the American Test Anxiety Association, up to 20% of school-age children have “severe test anxiety” while about 18% have “moderate” testing anxiety. When you combine these two groups, that means close to half of children experience anxiety when it comes time to take a test.

If your child is experiencing anxiety around test taking, you can show them how to be a better test taker. We’ve collected some math test-taking tips you can share with your child and practice together. The more you work to support your child, the better they’ll be when test day comes around.

1. Understand How They’re Feeling

One of the best ways to show your child how to be a better test taker is to help them identify their feelings. Talk to them about the specific feelings and thoughts they have when they’re about to take a test. Encourage your child to talk to you or write down their feelings to help them release those thoughts. Talking about their fears and anxieties will often help them see that the worst-case scenarios they imagine are not as bad as they think. This can ease a lot of tension before test day.

2. Use Relaxation Techniques

Another one of our math test-taking tips is to practice relaxation techniques the days, hours, and even minutes leading up to test day. Deep breathing and meditation are excellent tools to help children relax their minds and body, bringing down anxiety. When your child brings down their anxiety, they can retain knowledge better and will feel more clarity on test day.

3. Come up with Test-Taking Techniques

One of the best ways to ease anxiety is to show your child how to be a better test taker with simple techniques. Strategies like moving on from a tricky question and circling back to it later and eliminating wrong answers are great math test-taking tips. Armed with these strategies, your child will feel better prepared for their test.

4. Talk with Their Teacher About Helpful Accommodations

If your child is experiencing high anxiety around test taking, it may be helpful to talk to their teacher about accommodations that can help. Simple things like allowing them to walk the halls for a few minutes or offering additional scrap paper to work out problems can make a big difference. In some cases, you may be able to request that your child gets extra time to complete their test, helping to ease their anxiety about time constraints. Don’t hesitate to also ask their teacher their thoughts on how to be a better test taker and employ their suggestions at home.

Mother helping daughter on laptop

5. Establish Regular Study Habits

The best advice on how to be a better test taker is to feel prepared for the test itself. Often children are anxious about a test because they feel unsure about the material. You can get ahead of this specific anxiety by helping your child set up regular study habits. Have a set time each day when they do their school work and study in a designated location with minimal distractions. You can make this time more appealing by allowing them to listen to music they like or enjoy a special snack.

6. Work with a Tutor or Small Group

When in doubt, bring in a professional! Teachers and tutors know how to be better test takers and can show your child the way. Working in a small group is especially helpful as it lets your child see they’re not the only ones experiencing some test anxiety. Tutors can help give your child tools to use when working with any math problem, regardless of whether they appear on homework or a test. Building confidence and resilience is key to easing anxiety and helping your child thrive.

The teachers at Maths@Singapore are experts in helping your child be more confident in their math skills so they have less anxiety on test day. Our small groups focus on building rigor and gaining a core understanding of concepts rather than rote memorization, setting your child up for success. Based on the successful Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) math program, our lessons help your child build confidence and grow into a rigorous problem-solver.

Interested in joining our small group sessions? Contact us at via WhatsApp at +65 88591108 or fill out a contact form.