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theschoolboards
01-30-2012, 09:31 AM
From Bright Kids NYC (http://www.brightkidsnyc.com/2012/01/5-tips-for-preparing-for-your-childs-nys-regents-exam/):
In New York State, parents with children in grades third through eighth know to expect more than showers in April; it is state testing season. With so much riding nowadays on how children perform on their state English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics exams, it can be an anxious time of year for teachers, principals, students, and parents. The key to easing some of that anxiety is to start preparing with your child early, so that when test day comes around there are no surprises.

Here are 5 tips to get your child’s score higher and your stress lower!



Practice with the test format. Sometimes even the brightest kids struggle with state exams simply because they are not used to being timed or using a scantron. Multiple practice tests, and proctoring instructions, are available on nysedregents.org. Set aside a few hours on a weekend when you have consecutive days for your child to sit for the practice test, set up a quiet test-like environment, and get to work.
Figure out which areas your child needs extra help. An added benefit to giving a practice test is that it allows you to pinpoint what areas of the test your child is succeeding on, and which are a struggle. Once you know, you can ask your child’s teacher for supplemental material, or begin working with a tutor who can spend the time necessary to help your child grasp difficult concepts.
Talk to teachers about your child’s progress. Your child’s teacher is your biggest ally in making sure that he or she is prepared when the state exams come around. Take parent teacher conferences seriously and go prepared with questions about what the class is working on and how your child is doing. Make sure to ask about stamina and if there’s any area that the teacher believes should be supplemented at home before test-taking time.
Practice listening skills. Something that is essential for success on state exams, especially on the English Language Arts, is a child’s listening skills. Try to get in the habit of not repeating yourself when giving directions and maybe even introduce some books on tape or radio programming, which help with the auditory comprehension part of the exam.
Go back to basics. The things that many classrooms take for granted, or may not even teach, can make all of the difference on state exams. For the English Language Arts exam, work with your child on spelling, grammar, prefixes and suffixes, and for the Math exam work on the child’s automatically (ability to recall math facts automatically) in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Comfort with these foundational items allows children to spend their time on the more complicated tasks on the exam.