October is a crucial month for standardized test taking in Georgia. These tests can help parents, teachers, and the school identify strengths and areas that need additional support. With all of these important tests coming up, Little Listeners wanted to provide some tips and tricks for the best outcome possible.
The night before test taking, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and be encouraging! Test anxiety can develop in children at an extremely young age and get worse over time so try to present the test as a way to show off how much they have learned and how well they can do. It is also a great idea to plan ahead so there is not as much rushing in the morning. This could mean planning what they are going to wear or what they will have for breakfast. When the morning of the test comes, make sure that breakfast is a healthy one and that their outfit is comfortable and familiar. After testing is done, reward your child! Testing takes a lot out of the child mentally, emotionally, and physically. Talk to your child about what they learned from the test and what they would like to work on harder if need be.
When the test results come back, do not compare one child’s performance to another. This could be the case especially for siblings or twins in the same grade. Every student is different so make sure they feel special and proud of their score in their own way. Also, tell them how proud you are of them. A little positivity goes a long way. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or school guidance counselor. Your child’s success is what we are all here for.
While we all hope for the best outcomes on standardizing testing, sometimes the scores come back and are not what we quite hoped for. If this is the case, it is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of figuring out what the issues are that need to be corrected for the child to reach their highest potential. If your child has low math or reading scores, it could be signs or poor reading comprehension or weak memory and organizational skills. Some children have issues with math facts, this could be a sign of tolerance fading memory. If there are signs of poor spelling, that could be an indicator of a decoding issue. Organizational skills are also present when dealing with multiple choice questions, steps in a math equation, or writing a story. If someone has problems with any of these questions, this could be another red flag. If the child was not able to even finish the test, that could be another indicator or memory or organizational weaknesses. All of these issues are major indicators of Auditory Processing Disorder and can be remediated with proper diagnosis and therapy.
There are also several things parents can do if they know their child has a hard time with noisy environments. Even though teachers try to keep their students quiet during testing, there can be noise coming from the hallway, sneezes, foot tapping, pen clicking, etc. Sending your child to school with ear plugs on testing day is a great option especially if they are seated next to a noise source like a window or door. Asking your child’s teacher if they can sit in the front of the classroom or go to a different space to take their test might be beneficial as well. It is also important for parents to remember to be patient with their child’s teacher and the school. Auditory Processing Disorder is relatively “new” so having to educate the educators is sometimes necessary.
Being patient with your child is also vital. Make sure to give them extra time to organize thoughts and fully comprehend what you are saying or repeat instructions. Sometimes, rephrasing the instructions or using more simple language can also be effective. Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder and helping others around you understand what your child needs can be challenging at times, but it is very worth it in the end.
If you have any additional questions about testing strategies or concerns about your child’s test scores, please reach out to us. Happy testing!