Each year, states test children to determine their progress in various categories of learning. The purpose of testing is not only to meter your child’s development but also to gauge the effectiveness of the education system at the school. In some states, an examination at the third-grade level is a child’s first experience with proficiency testing. Learning some steps to help your child prepare will not only improve testing scores but also get you involved in your child’s education.
Talk to the teachers and administrators at your child’s school. Discuss the types of tests your child will take for advancement. Some states only test reading and math at this level, and some test a wide range of subjects. Ask what particular subjects your child needs to study and improve.
Understand the purpose and method of the testing by reading any resource material available. For instance, reading tests may include four types of passages. Understand the test so that you can help your child understand them too.
Discuss the nature of the tests with your child. Students will be more prepared if they understand the method of testing.
Perform practice tests with your child, especially in the areas teachers express need for improvement. Practice proficiency tests are available. Check on your states educational department website to see if they have posted any practice tests. A number of companies offer tests for purchase that will help you prepare.
Grade the practice exams using the instructions provided with the test.
Go over the results of the practice test. Develop learning exercises for your child in the areas that have problematic scores. For example, use flash cards to improve math skills.
Go online and research software and games for math and reading at the third grade level. Many websites have Flash games and practical applications that will teach your child in a fun environment. Sit with her and play the games. Make it a joint effort that allows you to spend time together.
Trust your child to do his best on the tests. The purpose of preparation is not to make your child feel inadequate but to help. Talk to him and let him know that you have faith in him and understand the stress involved in testing. If you are calm about the tests, he will be too.