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Reduce the Stress of High-Stakes Standardized Tests

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Many schools are focusing on the standardized tests coming up soon. These tests are so important to schools because they stand to lose their accreditation if their students do not perform well enough on them. In addition, many teachers are evaluated based on how well their students do. And, students cannot graduate until they have performed well enough on specific tests. That is why these tests are called “high-stakes tests.” The result of this unfortunate situation is that children all over America are stressed out over the tests they will soon take.

A certain amount of stress is good. It is a motivator. However, too much stress is not good. Parents need to monitor how their children are managing the stress of the standardized testing. If they are complaining of headaches or stomachaches or asking if they can stay home from school, they may be under too much stress.

I have written blogs in the past about high-stakes testing. If you sense your child is under too much stress about the tests, read "Easing High Stakes Testing Stress." If your child always has test anxiety no matter what test he is taking, read "Deep Breathing To Help With Test Anxiety." This is something you will need to work on for a while before the standardized tests begin.

On the day of the tests, be sure that your child gets plenty of rest, eats a good breakfast, and comes to school with the appropriate tools requested by the teacher (such as number two pencils with erasers). As she leaves for school, say, “Relax. Do your best. I love you no matter what.” And follow that with a big hug!

Finally, if you need help interpreting the scores when you receive them, see "What Do Standardized Test Scores and Percentiles Mean?"

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