some great tips for "Super Smart Kids" taking school tests:
Are you ready to take a school test? Do you sweat,
chew your pencil, and feel butterflies in your
stomach as your teacher hands out a test? A lot
of students, including adults get freaked out
when it's time to take a school test.
It's natural to feel some stress about taking
tests. In fact, sometimes a little adrenaline,
which is a hormone made by your body during times
of excitement or stress is a good thing to jump-start
First, make sure you've studied the materials
properly. It sounds like a no-brainer to SuperSmartKids, but if you are sure of the information, you will have less reason for stress and worry.
Get enough sleep the night before the school
test. Your memory recall will be much better if
you've had enough rest. In a scientific study,
young people who got enough sleep before taking a math
test did better than those who stayed up all night
Listen closely to any instructions. As the teacher
hands out the test, be sure you know what's expected
Read the test through first. Once you have the
test paper in front of you, read over the entire
test, checking out how long it is and all the
parts that you are expected to complete. This
will allow you to estimate how much time you have
for each section and ask the teacher any questions.
If something seems unclear before you start, don't
Focus on addressing each question individually.
As you take the test, if you don't know an answer,
don't obsess over it. Instead, answer the best
way you can or skip over the question and come
back to it after you've answered other questions.
Relax. If you're so nervous that you blank out,
you might need a mini-break. Of course you can't
get up and move around in the middle of a test,
but you can wiggle your fingers and toes, take
four or five deep breaths, or picture yourself
on a beach or some other calm place. As we all
know, it can be easy to forget things we know
well — like a locker combination. The difference
is we know we'll remember our locker combination
because we've used it hundreds of times, so we
don't panic and the combination number eventually
comes back. During a test, if you blank out on
something and start to get tense, it suddenly
becomes much more difficult to remember.
Finished already? Although most teachers will
let you hand a test in early, it's usually a good
idea to spend any extra time checking over your
work. You also can add details that you may not
have thought you'd have time for. On the other
hand, if you have 5 minutes until the bell rings
and you're still writing, wind up whatever you're
working on without panicking.
These tips should help most people, but some
can get serious test-taking terror. If you're
one of them, you may need to talk to a parent,
teacher or counselor for help in overcoming your terror of taking tests.
Focused in School
Learning how to focus and get something done
is about more than just good grades. Good grades
are the foundation for success in life. Mastering
the skills of getting organized, staying focused,
and seeing work through to the end will help in
just about everything you do.
You probably know the basics by now, but here's
a helpful refresher on getting organized.
Organization is the first step. Organization
makes everything else a little easier.
Keep your assignments and class information together
in binders, notebooks, or folders that are organized
by subject. You might want to set up a file drawer
at home to keep track of research, returned assignments,
and other things you want to hold on to.
If you find yourself stuffing loose papers in
your bag or grabbing different notebooks for the
same class just because they're close at hand,
it's time to stop and regroup. Take an evening
to get things organized again.
Maybe you can't carry different spiral-bounds
for every class. One solution is to carry a binder
that has separate sections. Another idea is to
take notes in one notebook and at the end of each
day rewrite them in a separate binder. This takes
more time, but it is a great study skill because
it allows you to read, write, and hopefully summarize
all that was important during the schooldays. The
more you review material, the more likely you
are to remember it.
Whatever you choose, your system has to work
for you. If it doesn't, change it until you find
what does. It's a great way to learn about yourself
and what works for your unique needs.
Plan Ahead when doing Homework
Most likely, you're on your own when it comes
to progress and work on assignments. It can feel
great to be your own boss, especially if you're
a good one. Don't leave things until the last
minute, though — you'll only end up working twice
as hard to do half as well. Nerves and anxiety
make it hard to stay focused and do a good job.
Set deadlines. At the beginning of each semester,
make a calendar of due dates. Be sure you know
what the main assignments are (if the teacher
doesn't mention them at the start of the semester,
ask) and what format they will take (a report,
presentation, group project, etc.). Set clear
Keep these questions in mind when organizing
your calendar: What's the final product? When
do certain components need to be completed? Answering
these allows you to prioritize assignments by
due dates, level of difficulty, and completion
Include nonacademic commitments on your calendar,
such as team practices, drama rehearsals, etc.
This will help you see when things might hit crunch
time later in the semester.
Give yourself mini-deadlines for the stages of
each project — planning, research, drafting, revising,
and creating a final product.
Enforce deadlines. Decide how you'll enforce
your deadlines. For example, will you reward yourself
for meeting them? Ask you friends or parents to
check in with you about your mini-deadlines so
that you don't put them off. Watch out if you
ask parents to help. When parents do, remember
they're not nagging you — you asked them
If you have difficulty meeting deadlines but
are making an attempt to improve your study skills
and organization, talk with your teacher. He or
she can help you to create reasonable short-term
goals for a particular project or test.
Oh, no! That's due in 2-days! If something slips
by and you find yourself surprised by a due date
or stuck with very little turnaround time, try
not to freak out. Do a breathing exercise to feel
calm and focused. Then outline an approach to
tackling the work. You can make an hourly or daily
calendar of deadlines if that helps you structure
If you're a perfectionist, it helps to remember
everyone can lose track of something once
in a while. If this happens a lot, you
need to get more organized.