Education Guide     K-12    

YIKES, this test is 60% of my final grade!



Tips to reduce test anxiety and boost confidence

Test taking is an inevitable part of the educational experience. Whether it's multiple-choice, open-ended questions or essay format, children are required to take exams regularly throughout their academic careers. Parents can't make tests go away, but they can help reduce anxiety during the school year by reinforcing regular routines and creating a positive test taking experience.

To help ease test day anxiety, Sylvan Learning Center offers students the following test-taking tips:

Multiple Choice Tests
  • Make sure you read all directions clearly and carefully.
  • Answer ALL questions. If it's a multiple-choice test, even if you're not sure of the answer, it's better to guess than to leave the answer blank.
  • Can't figure out the answer? See if you can eliminate at least one obviously wrong answer.
READ MORE: Click here for more tips on multiple choice tests

Open-ended Questions

  • Do a quick scan of the test. How many questions are there? How many points is each question worth? Remember, a question that's four points versus 10 will require less detail.
  • Plan out what you want to say. It can't hurt to jot down a couple of quick notes so you know the direction of your answers.
  • Proofread - did you answer the question? Check for spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors.
READ MORE: Click here for more tips on open-ended tests

Essay Questions
  • Review the question thoroughly. How many parts are there to the question? Make sure you answer every aspect of the question.
  • If you have a choice of questions to answer - which ones are you most comfortable with? Do you have enough supporting material to answer the ones you want?
  • Prepare an outline. Organize your thoughts. If this is one of the questions that you prepared for when studying, you're already halfway there! Keep your facts straight, and be sure to include supporting details.
READ MORE: Click here for more tips on essay tests

For additional information on preparing for each type of exam, or on standardized testing, visit www.educate.com/online/testing.html. Also available online, Sylvan Learning Center offers tips on writing, reading, making math learning fun and much more.