By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

The year is winding down, but a few tests or quizzes might still lurk in your child’s future.  Some students always ace their Math exams whether the subject is simple addition or pre-Algebra.  

The likely reason isn’t rocket science.  It pays to pay attention in class, turn in homework, ask for help, get a good night’s sleep and eat a hearty breakfast.

We know that you’re encouraging your children to prepare as much as possible for tests. Besides providing that support, putting your foot down at bedtime and scrambling those eggs in the morning, what else can you do?  Here are five tips that can help:

1. Turn Up the Volume.  Make sure your child listens to some “pump you up” music before heading out the door.  According to a Stanford study, “music engages areas of the brain which are involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating events in our memory.”

Check out Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Pharrell’s “Happy,” and Katy Perry’s “Firework” and “Eye of the Tiger.”  Or, rock an old-school jam like “Twist and Shout” or the theme from “Rocky.”

This really works. I’ve done this with my girls

2. Bring Sharp Pencils and a Good Eraser.  It sounds like a small point.  But having the right tools will make your child feel that much more confident.  When you’re not prepared, it intensifies any anxiety you might already have.

3. Be Bubble Smart.  Some multiple-choice tests require your child to complete a bubble sheet.  Given four or five possibilities, the test-taker must fill in a bubble corresponding to the correct answer.

Your child should know to 1) fill in the ENTIRE bubble without marking outside the lines and 2) always make sure the filled-in answer matches the corresponding question.  It’s easy to pencil in two bubbles on the same line or to skip a line, throwing off all the answers after, so check and double check.

4. Do it Twice.  To make doubly sure of the results, suggest that your child do each problem two times.  Have them answer all the questions first.  A common piece of advice is to use the remaining time to review.  Your child should go farther, and calculate the toughest problems a second time (without peeking at the first answers).

5. Show their Work. This is one of the “Math Manners” we teach our students at Miracle Math, and it works . Even if the answer is wrong, teachers often give partial credit if the approach is right.  Have your student show the exact steps used to get the answer.  And neatness counts.

6. Take Brief Brain Breaks. Of course, I’m the queen of brain-based activities, and so I love this tip.  Even young children can benefit from a few seconds to rest their brains.  Suggest that they stretch, relax the muscles in their shoulders, arms and hands and take deep breaths – but for no more than 10 or 15 seconds (about five long breaths.)  Time is of the essence.

If you found this of value, let us know if you’d like more ideas for helping your child excel in Math.  Contact us for a  FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation to see where your child stands academically and how we might help:  Click here to sign up now.  Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement and showing student how their brain learns!

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