Testing is an important element of learning. A test measures a learner’s basic skill and affects their grades. The ability to achieve good test scores can help throughout life. Actually, if your child has low test scores, the following techniques will help them develop good test-taking skills.
1. Be a Teammate, not a Boss
Before teaching students, the main objectives are to grab their attention and ensure they are receptive to the lessons. For students to improve their test scores, they must be receptive to the concept of test prep and want to excel in their standardized tests, and also possess internal motivation. The two types of students: internally motivated and externally motivated students.
Firstly, internally motivated students are caring, attentive, dedicated to their work, and determined to get their job done. On the other hand, externally motivated students are impossible to teach.
Students with intrinsic motivation make quick progress and achieve significant score improvements. These students are also easier to teach than externally motivated students. However, extrinsically motivated students aren't attentive and, therefore, cannot learn. This means the first step in improving your child's scores this school year is switching their motivational systems by being their teammate and not their boss.
2. Use Reinforcement
Rewarding children for good work may turn out to be disastrous when they get used to it. However, you can use motivation to help improve your child's grades. Elementary school children respond well to reinforcers like hugs and praises. They finally start achieving because it feels good. But, unmotivated children don't get any incentives; hence, their poor rankings.
In fact, according to Ken Schuster, a neuropsychologist recommends rewarding activities after a child completes their homework. He further advises parents to provide treats that are easy to provide, like a candy bar or ice cream. Schuster also recommends dividing homework into chunks and rewarding children for each completed chunk.
3. Inspire Test-Taking Motivation
Test-taking motivation is an achievement motivation that is an active process used to initiate goal-oriented activities. Low-stakes assessments have no consequences for test-takers compared to high-stakes testing. Motivational research shows that lack of test-taking motivation decreases students' grades in low-stakes assessments.
Moreover, scholars believe students possess domain-specific achievement motivation, like motivation to engage in science. There is also situation specific achievement motivation, like motivation to score high in a specific school-based assessment.
Domain-specific motivational constructs involve a stable personal trait. On the other hand, situation-specific motivational constructs involve a state that can differ, like how a student feels on a specific day. Therefore, inspiring test-taking motivation for both motivational constructs is another way to motivate kids with low test scores. An attractive and enjoyable test is crucial for encouraging students to expend their best effort.
4. Inform Your Child That High SAT Scores Will Benefit Them
Many students resist test prep because they believe they have no choice. Hence, they don't see the point in studying for a test. Another way to motivate them is to inform them that it's all about choice. For instance, if they achieve good grades, they will go to their dream schools, get sponsorship for athletics, and get good jobs in the future. Furthermore, good scores help in college applications and translate to more scholarships.
Consequently, higher SAT and ACT scores will lead them to their dream schools. When high school students realize they want enrollment in these schools and are the only ones who can make this happen, they will work hard towards this goal.
5. Make the Teacher Your Friend
A crucial way to inspire kids with a lack of motivation is to work with their teacher. The child's teacher has insight into strategies to help students. They might also know what your child is struggling with. Similarly, you may also propose your insights and strategies you believe will work. Both of you will develop ways to improve your child's mental health and inspire them to pay attention.
Furthermore, ensure both the school and home are of one accord. Actually, according to Kristin Carothers, a clinical psychologist, you should use a daily report card. Here, the child gets points from their teacher for activities like completing work and following instructions. When the child takes these points home, you reward them for these points.
6. Motivating on Digital Signage and Content Ideas
Many students’ scores reflect their study habits, educational assessment and test anxiety. One way to inspire good test performance is by including digital signage with education materials. Also, if their study rooms are full of digital signage with informative content, it's difficult for them to forget the lesson learnt in class.
In fact, many students enjoy reading simple and not lengthy materials that are monotonous. Therefore, try to use infographics and simple PowerPoint slides to cut down information into small chunks. Social media is also a great place to implement digital signage.
One of the reasons children perform poorly in school is a lack of motivation. As a result, many parents experience difficulties inspiring their kids to gain an interest in school work. The above strategies will help you motivate your child to perform better in school.