Surviving Standardized Tests: Encouragement for Every Child

standardized testsThe word “test” can strike fear into the heart of kid and bring out the best in another. I was more of the latter as a child. I saw tests as a great challenge. I took them very seriously, but they didn’t scare me. This attitude served me well throughout my education, but many students don’t feel the same.

My two sons in school right now have very different approaches to testing. One is super competitive, both with himself and his classmates, and one is fairly laid back. Neither one gets too bent out of shape about tests, but standardized testing season is upon us and things have gotten a little more intense than normal.

How does your child react to standardized testing? Does she get stressed out? Does he rise to the challenge? Does she get competitive or want to curl up in a ball? Does he crack under the pressure?

Whatever your child’s attitude may be during testing, you can help set him up do to his very best!

For the stressed out child…

Do whatever you can to create a calm environment for your child at home during test week. Make the mornings less crazy and the afternoons more relaxed. If possible, find out why your child is so stressed and pray out loud over them each morning. Philippians 4:6-7 is a wonderful verse for every child to memorize early on in life, but even more so for a child who gets anxious or worried easily.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

For the competitive child…

I love to see the competitive nature of my middle son reveal itself in academics. He likes a challenge and this competitiveness serves him well in school…most of the time. Sometimes the focus is turned too much towards how everyone else in class is doing. I don’t want to curb his enthusiasm for competition, but I do want to move away from comparison. I pray for him often to not always be in a competition with others, but to be concerned with honoring God with his very best in all things.

“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.” Colossians 3:23

For the excited child…

Be excited with her! If you never loved taking tests, don’t share those stories now. When I was a teacher, I witnessed kids lose their enthusiasm for a subject or activity simply because a parent had their own negative experience and projected it on to the child. Don’t be that parent! Have some fun with test week – special breakfast, high fives on the way out the door, dance parties to wrap up the week. Celebrate the successes, but also be prepared to comfort her if a day doesn’t go as well as planned. In all things, remind your child to thank Jesus for being with her and filling her with joy!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Lots of prayer, lots of sleep, lots of healthy food, lots of encouragement – with all of these, you and your child will survive standardized tests and be one step closer to summer break! Thank the Lord for that!


How are you helping your kids do their best on school standardized tests?

standardized tests

Lover of Jesus, family, home. Wife, mommy, writer, runner. Erin finds joy in her life as a Jesus-follower, doctor’s wife, mama to three handsome guys, writer at Home with the Boys, and co-founder of Raising Boys Media. Website URL: