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Monday, July 11, 2011

Helping your child with test taking

"Are you taking the test or is your child taking the test?"

Silly though this question may seem, it is frequently asked and some of the time there is some truth in it.

This thing is on my mind recently because the tests are coming again. It would sometimes seem as though we live from test to test!

I know there are many help your child with test taking articles on the internet but this one is not going to be one of them. This is a just a general discussion.

I believe that more help or "spoon-feeding" methods is required at an earlier stage so that the child will know what is required for later years.

During the early years of education, I believe it is necessary to sit with your child and guide them through their revision. After they have become used to this, then when you tell them "Go and revise your work" they will know what to do. You can't expect a young child to know exactly what to do just by saying "Go and study for your tests."

No, I am not afraid that by spoon-feeding my child now, he or she will become less independant later on. In fact, I think that going through the motions with them now will help them in later years.

However each child is different so how much help you give to each child may vary depending on your child. For example, my boy has never required me to help him to pack his school bags. He was independant right from the start. However, his sister who is older, still requires me to sit with her and help her from time to time. This is because their temperament and personality is very different.

I used to guide my girl step-by-step in her studies but now I can tell her, "Go and study for your test". I may remind her which chapters she should study and what she should emphasize on, but by now she is independant enough whereas the boy who just started taking formal tests in school this year requires more help. He is also more playful and his attention span is shorter, so for studying sessions, I will either have to sit with him or check on him reqularly.

Lastly, no matter how prepared in terms of revision, the child must also be taught some exam tips. No, I do not think that it is too young to teach a child test taking tips. It is better to inculcate a good habit and learn the right things from a young age.

Looking at the college dropout rates, students dropout of college due to lack of family support. I think support also comes in the form of teaching children to have the right attitude towards studies starting from a young age.

So what are your two cents about this subject: Helping your child with test taking. Care to share?


  1. You are indeed a very good & thoughtful mother. I totally agree with your way to coach & guide them as much possible when they are young, and in fact, isnt it a mother's responsibility to do so?
    Guiding them will help to ensure they are on the right path, like you said, if leaving them to study by themselves, they might not be sure what to study, how to study, where to start, where to end...etc. These are all living skills, which are not only for exam, it's for surviving. Teaching them about exam tips (which I have not thought of) is also about teaching them being smart.

    Hmm MG, I like to read your article!

  2. Thanks for the tips! But sometimes I'm so afraid to make my daughter to be so dependant on me. Sometimes I will tell her to try to do her homework and I'll come back to check. Because I've seen how dependant my nephew has become. Can you imagine he didn't even want to think hard and took his homework to hospital just to ask my late father how to do his homework? But maybe I agree with you that each child is different. Different characters. Hopefully my children will be ok.


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