Helping your Child Learn How to Take a Test

Are you looking for good study techniques for your elementary school child?  Today, we continue our series of how to tips for helping your child study for tests in different subject matters.  Each day we’ll introduce new tips for each subject. Today, we’ll tackle ideas for taking the test.

Child taking test

Now that your child has spent the time preparing and revising for a test, are there methods you can teach your child on how to take the test?  The short answer is, yes, you can.

Studying is part of the equation.  How your child takes the test counts for a lot too.  Here are some skills you can teach your child that will help them approach their test the best way:


Make sure they have brought the right tools for the test.  Pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, etc.  There’s nothing as unsettling as finding out that they’ll have to color in an example in red, blue and green and they don’t have those color pencils with them.

Carry out a Brain Dump

Your child will have a head full of formulas, dates, facts and lists that he or she has learned.  Often these are key facts they are worried about forgetting during the test.  So get them to first write down these key formulas, dates or facts on a scrap piece of paper.  This will help them relax and approach the test more efficiently – knowing that they have the scrap paper to rely on.

Read Through First

Teach them to start the test by scanning through all the questions first.  Read the instructions carefully.  This will help them understand what questions they’ll be required to answer.  It also gives them a chance to answer easier questions first and give them more time for tougher questions.

Answering Essay Questions

When answering essay questions, have them make an outline in the margin before they start writing.  An outline will help to form a more organized, clearly thought out and well-presented answer.

Answering Multiple Choice Questions

When answering multiple choice questions, teach your child to eliminate those answers that are completely wrong first.  In most multiple choice tests, there will be a couple of answers that are just plain wrong.  This means they have less answers to choose from when tackling the questions.  It’s not as overwhelming to pick from two possible answers as from four.

Save Time at the End of the Test

Teach them to save time at the end of the test to review their answers, make sure they haven’t mistakenly skipped over any questions or only answered a question in part.  Use the logic test.  Can this answer be logical?  For example, if they are asked to find the speed of a car traveling between two distances and the answer is 800 mph – then the answer is incorrect.

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