Supporting Your Lil’ Egghead Before The Exam
With the clocks counting down toward the end of 2017 and closer to the G&T test dates, it’s natural for the jitters to start setting in. Luckily, we’ve compiled some tips to help you get through the days leading up to your child’s exam!
1. Power them up with a positive pep talk
It’s important that your child feel loved and supported no matter the outcome. Keep in mind that this is (most likely) this is the first exam your child will have taken. Use this experience to teach them that it’s not just what you know, it’s how you approach the task at hand. Staying calm and walking in with confidence is the best way to start the exam, and giving your child a positive, soothing motivational speech beforehand is a great way to show them that cool confidence.
2. Get a full night’s sleep
For adults and children alike, no one is at their best when overtired. Exhaustion leads to a lack of focus and brain power, as well as overall irritability. Since a crucial aspect of the exam is the ability to sit still, focus, and follow instructions for an extended period of time (45 minutes - 2 hours), your child will need as much brain power as possible! As a parent, you know your child best - ensure that no matter their sleep schedule or exam time, they enter the exam room well-rested.
3. Never test while
on an empty stomach
Food bribes are often effective with children. While a promise of a treat can serve as motivation for your child, it’s still important to avoid a grumbling belly in the exam room. Additionally, water is provided during the exam, so let your child know they can ask for water if they need it.
4. Cramming is not the
same as practicing
As tempting as it is to run through review questions and practice exams the night before, this last minute prep will likely not improve your child’s performance. For children, cramming is as effective as putting the test prep materials under their pillows and hoping that it gets soaked up, as children can’t absorb material in the same way as an adult can. Most importantly, this type of cramming could lead to test anxiety. The night before the exam should be time for your child to focus on relaxation and rest. It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to prepare your child the night before is by having fun! Play their favorite game, join them in their favorite activity, and allow them to do what they do best - be a kid!
5. Leave the test
talk to the adults
Talking about an upcoming exam and running through different scenarios and outcomes can be an anxiety reliever for parents. However, for children, it could create or exacerbate anxiety surrounding the exam. Be sure to filter how much info you give your child about the exam when you decide to discuss it with them. They’ve never taken a test before so it’s important that you set the tone. Pro Tip: Don’t mention percentiles!
6. Stay calm and carry on
Children pick up on more than you think they do. Again, you set the tone for how you guys feel about the test. Being the little sponges that they are, children can sense your test anxiety and will most likely mirror it. If you have a relaxed, positive, and optimistic attitude, so will they. A confident child is a successful child!