|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Standardized Test Performance

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My 13-year-old seventh grader is an excellent student. The problem is standardized testing. When she takes such tests, she routinely scores well below her academic level. She contends she always finishes first or near the first. I have encouraged her to take extra time with the questions, even review them after she finishes. She says she does that but still does not score appropriate to her level. How can I help her?

A: It is very important to understand that standardized tests are just one measure of how your child is doing at school. Don't be overly anxious about these scores. They are not perfect measures of what children can or cannot do.

Standardized tests are designed to give a common measure of students' performance. They do help parents, teachers, and schools see how an individual student performs in comparison to other students in the same class, the school, the state, or the nation.

There are several reasons why a bright child who has always done well in school may score below expectation on a standardized test. Your daughter may . . .

  • be disinterested in doing well on the test,
  • suffer from test-anxiety,
  • possess poor test-taking skills, or
  • have felt poorly on the test day or days.

Since you are concerned about your daughter's test scores, it's time for a chat with her teacher or the school counselor. Find out how your child's classmates compare with children in other school systems across the country. If the best students in your daughter's class are also receiving poor scores, it is possible that the teachers are not teaching the students the material on the test or may be giving them inflated grades relative to their performance in the classroom.

Make it a point to ask the teacher or counselor what the test results mean about your child's skills and abilities. Ask if any changes are anticipated in your child's educational program as a result of the test scores. You should also inquire if there are things that you could do at home to help your daughter strengthen particular skills or improve her test-taking skills. Perhaps, the two of you could select a book that would give her hints on how to do better on standardized tests or she could even work on these skills at a learning center.

Learn more: Read our Parents' Guide to Standardized Tests

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.