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7 Ways to Get Your Kids Ready for Standardized Tests

7 Ways to Get Your Kids Ready for Standardized Tests

There are moments in your child’s life when he or she needs to step up and hit the books. Now, the main problem in these situations is that children and teenagers don’t see the long term benefits of the effort they need to put in and that’s why it is hard to motivate them. It is understandable that a child cannot perceive and predict the events that are going to happen ten years down the road, and that’s why you need to step in and help them along. A lot of times, parents make things harder for a child by applying additional pressure and making them unnecessarily nervous, which will make it even harder for them to concentrate. Children often get “panicky” during standardized tests and their results suffer because of it. You don’t want your child, who really worked hard, to come back home after the test and tell you that he forgot the answers out of sheer panic.

Here are some things you can do to make it easier for your child to pass through these difficult times.

1. The Program

If you are not aware of what your child is currently learning, how can you evaluate your child’s handling of the situation? You can always ask the child if she is having any trouble at school but you might not get a straight answer. Children tend to avoid responsibilities by lying to their parents. You need follow their progress and see if they need your assistance.

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2. Attendance

It is crucial that your child doesn’t lose too many classes. The learning process is much easier for everybody if they are not facing the subject for the first time when they start reading.

Elementary school class outside

    You can encourage your children to develop good habits such as waking up early, being more active in class and talking to you about things they learned in school on any given day.

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    3. Health

    Of course, you will pay attention to your child’s health but I feel obligated to mention it, since it can have a big influence on the child’s concentration during classes, as well as during the standardized tests. A healthy diet is also a part of the whole thing, because eating a lot of sugary or fatty foods can ruin a child’s ability to concentrate due to drowsiness and an upset stomach.

    4. Test Rules and Accommodations

    Knowing what to expect, what is expected of them, and what help they can ask for can influence your child to feel more confident and relaxed during tests. If your child is unsure about any of these issues, he may lose time and concentration, or even make mistakes that can cost him their right to take the test.

    5. Regular Study

    Continuous work always gives better results than last minute cramming. Teach your child to focus on good learning habits and do away with bad ones. When you break down the material into smaller chunks and study in short bursts, you tend to remember more because your concentration is optimal, and you are still fresh. Long study sessions tend to tire us out, and progressively become less effective.

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    6. Preparation Tests

    You can usually find standardized tests from previous years and give them to your child as practice. These tests are available online. There are websites that offer preparation test for standardized APs and SAT/ACT tests and they can be of great help. Your child can go through hundreds of questions and get a chance to test their knowledge, while getting acquainted with it at the same time.

    7. The Day Before the Exam

    Make sure that the child is well rested and has enough time to wake up properly before sitting down to take the exam. It is also important that she has a proper meal, to give her enough energy to avoid distractions caused by hunger.

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    Healthy family meal

      It is also good to give them a light, sweet snack before the exam. Dark chocolate has been shown to be particularly good at boosting brain function.

      Of course, being supportive and encouraging goes without saying and remember that being aggressive or pressuring your child into studying can have negative backlashes and cause more harm than good.

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on November 19, 2019

      20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

      20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

      Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

      If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

      1. Create a Daily Plan

      Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

      2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

      Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

      3. Use a Calendar

      Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

      I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

      Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

      4. Use an Organizer

      An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

      These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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      5. Know Your Deadlines

      When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

      But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

      6. Learn to Say “No”

      Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

      Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

      7. Target to Be Early

      When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

      For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

      Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

      8. Time Box Your Activities

      This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

      You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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      9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

      Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

      10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

      Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

      You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

      11. Focus

      Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

      Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

      Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

      12. Block out Distractions

      What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

      I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

      When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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      Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

      13. Track Your Time Spent

      When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

      You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

      14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

      You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

      Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

      15. Prioritize

      Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

      Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

      16. Delegate

      If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

      When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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      17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

      For related work, batch them together.

      For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

      1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
      2. coaching
      3. workshop development
      4. business development
      5. administrative

      I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

      18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

      What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

      One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

      While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

      19. Cut off When You Need To

      The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

      Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

      20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

      Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

      More Time Management Techniques

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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