Test-Taking Tips

These common sense approaches can help reduce anxiety and improve test performance in kids with learning disabilities.

By Nancy Firchow, M.L.S.

Tests are a fact of life for kids in school, including those with learning disabilities. Tests help teachers gauge progress, measure skills, and determine grades. They can also be pointers to areas where kids need extra help. The good news is that there are some common sense approaches to studying and test taking that can reduce anxiety and improve test performance. You can help your child learn test-taking strategies she'll use throughout her entire education.

Before the Test

Preparation is the key to success. Before each test your child should ask the teacher - and write down - what material the test will cover and what types of questions to expect. She can then focus her studies and practice answering questions in the same format. Encourage her to adopt these other good study habits:

On the Day of the Test

No matter what the subject or test format, coach your child to:

Types of Test Questions

Tests are often a blend of several types of questions. Review and practice these strategies for various question types with your child.


Multiple Choice

Open Book



Essay Questions

After the Test

Your child can learn almost as much from her mistakes on a test as from studying. Go over test results and read the teacher's comments. Look for patterns of errors to help in future studies.

When your child feels confident in her test-taking skills, she'll have less test anxiety and be able to focus on showing what she's learned - and that's what tests are all about.