College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

How to Prepare

Parents have asked how they should prepare their children for these exams. In general, we recommend that the child have a good night’s sleep before the test and that the normal family routine, including breakfast, be followed the morning of the test. In explaining the purpose of the tests, we suggest saying something like, “you are going to take some tests in which you will be asked to solve different kinds of problems. But these are not like tests that you take in school, where you are supposed to study and know the answers! On these tests, you will probably be asked questions or given a problem that is new to you. Some will be easy and some will be hard, so just do your best and don't give up.” If your child seems anxious, it may be helpful if you further explain that they are not supposed to know all the answers on this kind of test, because it is intended for children of many ages. In some areas, they might be given a question or problem designed for an older child. So they might know the answer, but it is okay if they do not. Most children enjoy the testing process, and sometimes ask if they can come back and do more!