Test-Taking Tips for Parents

Strategies Packet for Parents and Students (NWEA)

This PDF is published by NWEA and contains many tips for improving reading, writing, and mathematics.


Tips for Students

Tips for handling test anxiety:

  • Think positively. For example say; “I will do well on this test!”
  • Use your imagination in a positive way. When you let your imagination go wild, anxiety is sure to follow. Learn to imagine yourself remaining calm and in control. Cast yourself in the role of a winner!
  • Have a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Learn to relax. Get comfortable. Tighten the muscles in your toes. Hold for a count of ten. Relax and enjoy the sensation of release from tension. Flex the muscles in your feet. Hold for a count of ten. Relax. Move slowly up through your body-legs, abdomen, back, neck, and face-contracting and relaxing muscles as you go.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Use relaxation techniques if your mind is blocked by tension during the test. Close your eyes and take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Concentrate on your breathing and then return to the test.
  • Deal with pressure before it has a chance to build. Get help from your teachers. Go to class on a regular basis. Get help from your parents. Be honest when discussing your fears and the pressures you feel.

Tips to help when you are actually taking the test:

  • Read all parts of a question and the answer choices carefully before you choose an answer.
  • Cross out obvious wrong answers.
  • Skip any items you don’t know, lightly mark the item you skipped, and come back to it later.
  • If you are unsure of an answer, go with your first choice.
  • Notice how words are emphasized (i.e. Underlined, Bolded, Italicized, or CAPITALIZED).
  • Fill in the ovals on the answer sheet completely.
  • Erase carefully and completely.
  • Answer EVERY question.
  • Review your answers.
  • If time permits, go back over the test as though it’s your first time (with a “new set of eyes”). You’ll be surprised by the mistakes you might find.