What to Do When Your Child's Test Prep Isn't Going as Planned

test prep

Is your child in the midst of a grueling test prep process? If you're worried about how to handle the many possible issues that can come up and throw the process off, this blog post is for you.

Unplanned Challenges

A big part of a high school student's academic career is preparing for tests. Whether it's the SAT, the ACT, an AP test, or just a regular old midterm or final exam, test prep is one of the most important parts of high school. However, it doesn't always go as planned, as a variety of issues can pop up. If your high school student's test preparation process has encountered some unexpected roadblocks, including any of the following scenarios, here are our suggestions for how to handle them.

A high school student does test prep

When Your Child Is Behind on the Material

One possible issue that might arise during the test prep process is when your child has a hard time keeping up with the material. If he or she is falling behind, you may be wondering whether or not your high schooler will successfully learn the critical information required in time for the test.

If this is the case, consider making a study schedule. Plan it so that your child finishes all of the material a week or two ahead of time, allowing for some wiggle room in case of issues. Naturally, just creating the schedule won't be enough. You'll also want to try various strategies for enforcing it, like rewards or weekly accountability check-ins.

When Your Child Isn't Retaining Information

Another potential issue is if your child is keeping up, but simply not retaining the information that he or she is studying. The best way to handle this situation is to try out different modes and strategies of learning.

For example, if he's studying mostly from a textbook, try using educational videos. If she's using flashcards for rote memorization, have her try writing a narrative story that incorporates the concepts. Engage the different learning styles (visual, auditory, verbal, and kinesthetic). Maybe consider committing more time to studying, too.

A high school student takes a test

When Your Child Is Stressed

One final problem that's likely to come up during a high school student's test prep process is stress and a lack of confidence. Those issues can be more serious than they may sound.

Physically, stress can manifest itself as aches and pains, insomnia, and lightheadedness, while a lack of confidence can be the difference between succeeding or bombing on a test. In this scenario, we recommend putting the situation into perspective. Of course, getting a good grade on a test is important. However, your child's health is the most important goal of all.

Consider taking a break from the study routine to do something fun together, like getting a massage or going out for frozen yogurt. If the situation is serious enough, you might even consider a session with a counselor. Tests come and go, but your child's happiness should be your highest priority. Trust in the process and your child will come out on the other side with a good score and intact mental health.

A high school student experiences stress during the test prep process

For test prep resources you and your child can trust, check out

By Daisy Rogozinsky
April 2019
test prep test readiness

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