Tests are something that most children dread but, unfortunately, they are just a part of our education system that everyone has to go through. The best way to combat nerves for any test is to firstly ensure that we teach kids to have the right attitude towards them. This involves understanding their importance but simultaneously, they should not be shamed if they don’t perform amazingly; it’s simply about trying their best. When a sense of competition is invoked, or a sense of shame is pushed onto anyone who doesn’t perform well, this is when tests and the stress surrounding them can begin to affect mental health.
Understanding standardised school tests is crucial, so here are some key bits of information and advice about them.
Why Standardised School Tests Are Important
Firstly, we must understand why standardised school tests are important in the first place. So, the CAT4, short for Cognitive Abilities Tests, are slightly different to most other tests that students will take during their school life, in that they aren’t based on academic skills or what they have learnt; it is based more on the way that their brain works. Some of the tests are visual, some are about listening, and others are more logic based. By carrying out these kinds of tests, teachers are able to look at the results that different pupils get and analyse how they may learn best, or how their brain responds to different stimuli.
While these tests cannot be revised for in the same way that an academic test can be, there are ways you can practice for them – most effectively through doing mock versions of the tests. This will give you a helpful insight into which kinds of skills are involved so it won’t come as too much of a shock when you do the real thing.
Understanding That Tests Are in Place to Help Pupils
People often question the reasoning behind tests, particularly with cognitive ability tests, which have a purpose that is often hard to grasp. However, these tests are all in place to help pupils with their learning and to allow them to learn more effectively. By testing students purely on their academic capability, this neglects a whole part of learning which is so important – the role of logic. While some people may not be able to do scientific studying very effectively, the same people may be really good at recognising visual patterns, and both skills are really important.
Why You Shouldn’t Over-Stress
Trying not to over-stress can be easier said than done, and this is why we must encourage students to have a healthy attitude towards tests. With Cognitive Abilities Tests, the outcome is largely dependent on the way your brain works, so we cannot be too harsh on pupils who find it hard to grasp. They are quite reliant on concentration levels, and being overly stressed out can induce a feeling of panic, which often prevents pupils from using their attention effectively. The best thing to do is make sure your children get enough rest and eat enough healthy foods beforehand to ensure they are in the best physical state.
Standardised School Tests are really great alongside academic tests to look at multiple aspects of a student’s personality or brain. No two students are the same in their thought processes or their way of learning, so having tests like these is really important to allow teachers to focus on the various ways of learning. They are also very useful in developing general life skills, such as learning new material or picking up new skills, which will benefit students both inside and outside of schools.