I’m back again with more tips in helping your child to overcome common test mistakes. If you need want to read Part 1, you can do so by clicking this link.

If you know that your child has an important test coming up, you can help him be ready for the big day by answering various practice questions. While you focus on asking the practice questions, ask another adult to observe your child. That will help you to find clues to possible areas of concern.

Read through the list of the common mistakes below and apply the solutions to prevent these mistakes from happening. This way, you are sure that he clearly gets the tasks right.

You know these mistakes won’t be corrected overnight, so commit to working on them every single day. Also, remember to keep the practice tests fun. Integrate a little play into the exercises, and allow your kids to have fun once in a while. Without further adieu, here are the common mistakes younger children make:

Your child is NOT listening
On many important exams, questions are only asked once. It’s one way of evaluating your child’s listening skills. Paying attention to simple instructions isn’t really the strong suit of many children. I bet your kids would wait until you are screaming at the top of your lungs before they actually listen to you.

Listening is an intense process that requires your child to do several tasks at the same time. He needs to decipher the language, and, then, comprehend what needs to be done. After that, he needs to remember what he is told. Listening is a long and arduous process that requires practice to perfect.

The solution here would be to prepare your child to listen before you give specific instructions. Give your child some cues, saying something like, “Are you listening? Okay, here’s my first question for you.”

Another tip is to instruct him to look at you every time you are talking. If your child is watching you while you explain the specifics, he will be better able to listen well. On the actual exam day, mention the need for him to look at the tester when she is giving instructions because he will better hear what the teacher is saying.

Your child is unable to focus
Extensive exams may take more than 30 minutes to roughly an hour or so. Many kids are not used to sitting still this long. There’s a huge chance for them to perform badly just because they don’t have the proper “test stamina.”

There are two solutions to this problem: a) use a timer and b) make sure that the child is well-rested before he takes the exam.

Let’s start with the first one; the timer will assess how long your child can concentrate. If he can only focus for 15 minutes, that’s totally fine. On your next practice, inform him that he did a great job concentrating for 15 minutes. Challenge him to do 20 minutes. Repeat the process until he reaches the estimated duration of the test. Don’t forget to reward his efforts by giving him a surprise gift or token. This will encourage him to concentrate better.

The next tip is to ensure that he well rested. On the night before, get to bed early to make sure that his mind gets the proper rest. On the exam day itself, feed him a big breakfast and prepare a nutritious snack for the day. Studies show that a lack of sleep can definitely affect your child’s performance.

Your child is rushing to finish the test
Some kids may think that the first person to finish the exam gets a prize. Maybe he just wants to finish quickly so that he can engage in other fun activities.

Remind your child that the exam is not a race. Another tip is to have the child go back to the questions he answered incorrectly. Let him correct his mistakes. If you see that your child is able to correct his answers upon review, it proves that he was indeed rushing the first time.

You can take it up a notch by saying something like, “There are five wrong answers on this page. Go over the questions again and correct them.” This will help your child realize that taking time is better rather than having to go through all the questions again just to fix the errors. This is also an effective training to teach your child in checking his own work on assignments and exams.

Nothing fuels the fire for math than discovering you can be a math genius! If you’re not sure Abacus will help your child, sign up for a free preview of our online Abacus Classes – there’s no obligation to register! Come meet with us, watch some kids in action, calculating at the speed of light! We guarantee you will have fun watching these little geniuses.




JAMS is proud to be the only Abacus math school in Portland and in the State of Oregon certified by the League of Soroban of Americas. Since 2001, we have dedicated to Abacus & Anzan instruction and to building a strong foundation of Mental Mathematics along with lifelong skills. JAMS empowers children to achieve academic success, so they will grow in areas that go well beyond the classroom. JAMS parents can expect their child to improve in 5 different areas: concentration, discipline, problem-solving, time management, and confidence. This is the teaching approach at JAMS since opening its doors.