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How To Help Kids Improve Standardized Test Scores

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

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Standardized testing has become increasingly influential in school districts across the country. With government budgets tightening thanks to a stalled economy, schools are relying on standardized test performances to make their cases for getting a bigger piece of the budgetary pie.

Though the growing emphasis on standardized test scores has understandably generated debate, many parents are simply looking for ways to help their children improve their test scores. Kids are often nervous when taking standardized tests, but there are several things parents can do to help their children calm those nerves and improve their performance.

Ensure kids get a good night's sleep. A child's performance on a standardized test can be influenced by how much sleep that child gets the night before the test. If a child does not get enough sleep, his or her atten-tiveness, retention, short-term memory and response time are likely to suffer. The Nemours Foundation, which specializes in pediatric health, recommends 10 hours of sleep for children ages 6 to 9; 9 hours for children ages 10 to 12; and at least 8 hours for children over the age of 12.

Start the day off right. A nutritious meal at the start of the day improves cognitive function. Meals with the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and even fat will provide fuel for a child's brain, while a breakfast with processed sugars can negatively impact the brain's performance.

Help kids reduce their anxiety. A good night's sleep & a healthy breakfast will go a long way toward helping kids improve their standardized test scores. However, many kids under-perform on standardized tests because of anxiety. Parents can help kids cope with that anxiety by teaching them certain relaxation techniques. Meditation & visualization are two relaxation techniques that many people - adults & children alike have found effective at reducing their anxiety.

Don't cram the night before the test. While it can improve kids' confidence to go over certain materials the night before the test, resist the temptation to cram the night before the exam. Cramming can confuse children and make it difficult to remember all of the things they've already studied, so make sure the night before the test is a restful and relaxing one for kids.

Copyright 2012 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 18, 2012

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