4 Ways to get Through Testing Season

Let’s face it: prepping for the G&T exam is no easy task, for both parents and children alike. It’s anxiety inducing, frustrating, and above all stressful! While this test will have implications for your child’s future school choice, the way in which we frame learning to children now can last a lifetime, which is why it’s important to make sure you stay calm and your child stays confident throughout the preparation process.

So how do we keep from going crazy during test season?

1. Take a break

Working and practicing until you drop won’t help you or your child be better prepared. A lengthy, fun break can actually do more to help your child than the extra half hour of practice questions. Children don’t have the capacity to work non-stop; they need to let off steam and get rid of all the crazy, silly energy they’ve built up while sitting still for so long! And if we’re being honest, parents could use a break as well. Play a game, read a book, watch a show, dance around - whatever you do, have it be fun!

2. Manage your

expectations

There are many different types of intelligence: analytical, musical, artistic, physical, verbal, mathematical, visual, interpersonal… the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, the G&T exam only captures a narrow margin of these, and favoring a few over the rest. This is to their detriment. By doing this, the test fails to capture the other types of intelligences and gifts that your child may have, which are just as important and valid as the rest. That being said, if your child is gifted in the areas which the exam does not look at, do not see them as failures. Be realistic and objective about your child’s strengths, and additionally recognize the test for what it is: one way of capturing intelligence

3. Appreciate what

makes YOUR

child special

Just because the G&T exam favors a specific skill set does not mean other skills are less valuable or won’t be useful. Every child has special talents and skills unique to them. It’s important not to lose sight of what makes your child talented and brilliant. Don’t let the test define intelligence! Appreciate and praise your child for what they are able to do, and do not let them be defined by what they cannot.

4. Listen to

your child

Trust your child to let you know when enough is enough, and most importantly, listen to them when they do.  Knowing when it’s been “too much” can be hard to recognize at times. Here are some signs of burn out:

  • Irritability

  • Heightened lack of focus

  • Loss of confidence ("I can't do it"; "It's too hard")

  • Increased silliness/work avoidance

  • Tears

  • Fighting/arguments

If you start to notice any of these signs, stop! Take a break. Pushing them, or yourself, any further will make the learning process seem like a chore.