Preparing for standardized tests can be an intimidating and daunting task for teens. We have some advice to help ease the stress.
The college application process is completely different today than it was a generation ago, and the idea that a college acceptance may depend on one test score can really cause kids to stress.
In order to combat that stress, we asked Suniti Mathur, an Auckland College of Education graduate, to provide some hints for how to breeze through test day. With over 12 years of experience and over 1,200 students tutored, Mathur is quite the expert in her field. Under Mathur’s direction, students have increased their SAT score by up to 700 points and their ACT score by up to eight points.
Mathur's Advice to Get Teens to Score Better on Tests
If you have younger children, Mathur says it is especially important to keep them stimulated over the summer. According to a study done by John Hopkins University, children can lose up to 2.6 months of their grade level equivalency in math over the summer because they become lazier and fall out of a set routine. Mathur recommends that you set a schedule for your family with a designated time to play outside, complete a math worksheet, or read a book. Just an hour of productive work can make a huge difference come fall!
Mathur also recommends you make sure you have a relaxing environment where your children can complete their homework. “There is no shortage to the number of studies that show that retention is higher when students learn while relaxed,” Mathur said, “Pick a spot in your home that is quiet but comfortable.”
Beyond this, Mathur also suggests that you encourage your children to focus and study in increments of one hour and then take a break. “Studying for one hour while focused is far more effective than studying for three hours somewhat distracted,” Mathur added. In order to make sure your child is studying smart, you should take small breaks every hour, providing snacks if need be. This way, their mind will stay fresh and focused instead of tiring out."
If you want to go a step further, Mathur also suggests having a plan to help your child study. For instance, if there is an upcoming spelling test, you can help your child practice out loud, create a practice test for them, or make a game out of studying. These shorter, focused study periods will help your child better retain information than he or she would from one long period of studying.
About Suniti Mathur
Mathur currently serves as the “Ultimate Tutor” at TestRocker.com, a global start-up company that works to deliver “a comprehensive online education platform for standardized test preparation.” TestRocker uses the web to teach students good test-taking skills through a modular approach. Its goal is to help students reach their full potential and maximize their scores for the most success possible!
The transformation from high school to college shouldn't be a daunting task. Make studying a fun experience and the success will follow.