Parents can help with test preparations

Published 8:10 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

During the school year, there are many things that students have to do that are not on the top of their to-do list. One thing included in this non-fun list is tests.

After returning to school from Thanksgiving break, students will have one week to finish becoming prepared for graduation exams, finals and DIBLES.

The graduation exam is an important test for all individuals in high school. This test has to be completed by a student’s senior year for that student to be presented a diploma.

There are many ways to help your child prepare for this test. One way is to get with his or her teacher and let them show you the material that will be covered on the exam. With your help, your child can practice taking a graduation exam test at home. To help your student do their best, you can also:

Be sure your child/children are at school and on time

Be sure your child/children get plenty of rest the night before each test

Be sure your child/children eat a good breakfast on test days

If your child/children have a part-time or full-time job, have them arrange to get off work by 5 p.m.

Remind your child/children about the importance of this test.

Remind your child/children to work every problem and check their answers carefully. The creators of the test know where common errors are made. The questions are multiple choice, and incorrect answers may look just as appealing as correct answers.

Remind your child/children that the answer documents and computerized scanners are highly sensitive to stray pencil marks. If they change their mind about an answer, it is imperative they erase completely the incorrect marks. This is a time when perfection counts.

Prepare your child/children for the fact the tests are long and difficult. A surprising number of previous reading test failures are the result of students getting tired of reading passages and just quitting.

Explain to your child/children that good guessing skills can improve their scores. Students should not simply guess “C” when they don’t know an answer, nor should they leave it blank. They should look at all four answers and identify the ones that are definitely wrong. Narrowing the possible answers this way improves their odds of choosing correctly.

Remind your child/children not to rush. The tests are not timed, and students can take as long as they need.

Final exams are tests that students are given by a teacher to help them with their final grade of the year. The test normally counts as more points towards their final grade, and depending on how well they do, can help or hurt them in passing a subject.

DIBLES is a test taken by children grades K-4. These tests reflect the ability of the teachers in your child’s school. Every year, these tests aid in rating the local schools’ overall performance and teachers’ teaching abilities. If students do poorly, then the school is looked at for teaching support.

All of these tests are important to not only your child but also to your school and community. During the next week or so, do what you can to help your child do their best on any of the tests they may have to take before getting out of school for Christmas break.

– Ashley McCartney can be reached at