Test Taking Strategies
UPCOMING TEST: Plan to Study
Fall Greetings CHS community: For those who are new to Christian Heritage School, I pray you are beginning to feel a bit more settled into our community. Academic classes are into a good routine by now and homework has begun. A first test or quiz most likely has happened in your child’s class. As grades are beginning to be entered into the gradebook, some students may begin to feel a bit anxious or overwhelmed.
If your child indicates that they may feel unsettled or even expresses some anxiety about an upcoming test, it is key to think through strategies for good test preparation. It is most helpful for you as their parent or guardian to put things into perspective. Your child needs to know that it is important to do well in school, but a single test or quiz will not determine his or her future. There will be more opportunities. Your child also needs guidance in learning how to prepare for tests in ways that will reduce test anxiety.
Step 1: Put a plan in place (throughout the semester)
- Pre-read your textbook before class. (This especially pertains to the more advanced classes.)
- Read notes after class even on nights without homework. (Rewrite anything you might not understand.)
- Reach out to your teacher for extra help (schedule an appointment during their office hours)
- Prepare and review notes
Step 2: Put a plan in place (the week or two before the test)
- When a review sheet is provided, complete it (start on it the day you receive it!) and use it to study.
- Reach out to your teacher for help on any questions that you’re stuck on, and physically write out your answers and explanations for anything you did not understand.
Step 3: Put a plan in place (the 24 hours before the test)
- Get a good night’s sleep. Your ability to think clearly and to deal with possible test anxiety improves with good sleep.
- Eat something to help with focus and attention.
- Stay hydrated.
- Remember you have prepared, and now is not the time to worry.
Step 4: During the test!
Now is the time to SHOW WHAT YOU KNOW!
- Be prepared to run into a few questions you aren’t sure about. Know that it’s going to happen, and don’t panic when it does.
- If you feel anxious, PRAY! Philippians 4:6 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Breathe deeply to calm your “fight or flight” response. (You learned about “box breathing” in Chapel recently. Use this!)
- Focus on YOUR work. It doesn’t matter if others are working at a faster (or slower) pace. Take the time YOU need!
- Do your best, check over your work, and turn it in. You can learn from your results when you get them back, but you did your best. It’s time to relax a bit!
By reviewing these pre-test strategies you may have discovered new ideas to help your child to add to what they already use.
One of the most important keys to success in test preparation is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Encourage your child to develop productive test preparation skills, a plan for dealing with anxiety during the test, and an ability to keep a proper perspective on this test in the grand scheme of things.
Kim Haggerty, an alum of CHS, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Wheaton College right outside of Chicago. She began her career in Special Education in the Westport School system; the Lord led her back to CHS to join the staff as an elementary teacher. Mrs. Haggerty is beginning her 9 th year in her current position directing the Student Academic Services program overseeing grades K-12. She is a part of a wonderful team who help support students and their families to assist in their development to reach their full potential as lifelong learners. She absolutely loves what she does and enjoys building relationships with CHS students and their families.