An Introduction to Standardized Testing

Standardized testing plays a prominent part in our education system every year. No matter how you feel about it, it's important for children to do their best. Poor test scores can have a big impact on their education, so play an active role and help your child any way you can.

Find available tutors

Standardized tests comprise a very important role in your child's education. Many children will take at least one standardized test every year, which means many teachers will spend significant class time on test preparation. The results can reflection the teachers' efforts as well as that of the the students. In some states, standardized tests are the yardstick for determining whether a child gets to progress to the next grade level.

Many parents want to know the purpose of standardized tests. The answer is that these tests help evaluate the performance of students, teachers, even whole school districts. The results provide information on a child's ability to learn new material, as well as his grasp of the material he's already supposed to understand. With that information, teachers can identify areas where specific students need more attention, while officials can identify the strengths and weaknesses in the approach of a given teacher, school or school district.

Of course no test is perfect and some students have difficulty with testing in general, no matter how familiar they are with the material. Many factors can affect a child's performance. Perhaps the coursework she has studied is not represented in the testing material. Maybe she hasn't had a good breakfast or a good night's sleep. There are a number of things a parent can do to help a student succeed.

Start Preparing Early

While test prep courses and brushing up are a good idea, nothing beats a solid foundation. Keep up with your child's progress throughout the year.

  • Encourage good study habits
  • Stay in touch with your child's teachers
  • Focus on reading and math basic skills - both are important on test day
  • Put special focus on filling skill gaps, especially in reading and math

Don't Just Send Him Off to Take the Test!

A child may not realize that the test isn't the end of the world. Don't downplay its importance, but don't over emphasize it either. Stay in conversation about it and address any questions he has. Help him to know you're in it with him!

  • Make sure he gets enough sleep the night before he takes the test and eats a good breakfast on testing day
  • Be sure he has every tool he needs - pencils, erasers, paper, a calculator, etc.
  • Let him talk about his fears or hesitations - help him to keep things in perspective
  • Plan a fun outing or special treat of some kind for after the test

Tips for Test Day

  • Read the instructions and ask anything that isn't clear
  • Answers the easier questions first.
  • Reads all answer choices
  • Fill in the ovals completely, erasing any stray marks
  • Check the question number against the number on the answer sheet
  • Numbers questions on his scratch paper so that he can easily find his work.
  • Don't linger too long on a single question - skip it and come back to it later.
  • Don't worry about running out of time
Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Despite Protests, New York Increases Student Testing

    Don't put down those pencils yet; standardized tests for students in New York are about to get longer. The changes are arriving steeped in controversy and criticism, which is nothing new for the state.

  • More Blog Articles
    High Stakes Testing

    Many tests are for evaluation purposes only, but some tests have direct consequences in the educational experience of a specific student. These tests are known as 'High Stakes' tests. Read on to learn more about 'High Stakes' tests.

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth