By Laura Whitmore
After two years of canceled regents exams during COVID, the exams are fully reinstated for the 2021-2022 school year. What this means is that many high school students who have never taken a regents exam before are saddled with 4 or 5 exams to take this June. That can be overwhelming for anyone.
How can you support your son or daughter during this unknown, stressful time? Here are 5 ways you can help:
1. Encourage them to do their homework
Homework embodies an integral part of the learning process. If your child is completing all of their homework on a regular basis, remind them of this and let them know that they are already on their way to being well-prepared for any regents they have to take.
2. Try not to put so much emphasis on the test
If you freak out about the test, your son or daughter is more likely to freak out, too. Taking a laid back “just do your best” approach will help alleviate their anxiety and let them know that you are there to support them, not be critical of them.
3. Utilize test prep services
If your son or daughter takes a class to learn skills to maximize points on the SAT and ACT test, they can translate those skills to other subjects and tests they have to take, including the regents. I have heard many students tell me how our workshop or 1-on-1 sessions helped them feel more confident and land A’s on tests for their other classes.
4. Pull old regents exams so they can see what they are like and practice first
Nothing is worse than the fear of the unknown. While some teachers may expose their students to the test and do some test prep ahead of time, others may not. Regardless, you can access past regents for all subject areas at nysedregents.org. Let your son or daughter see what a test is like and practice it, especially for any subjects they feel less confident in.
5. Hire a tutor
In tandem with #4, it may be a good idea to hire a tutor to go through the exams with them. Make sure the tutor is a teacher or tutor in that specific subject area or is majoring in that subject area. Ask them for their credentials and for references. Do not wait until the last minute to hire a tutor. One session will not magically change a student’s content knowledge. Plan on at least a month of consistent weekly tutoring sessions to solidify concepts for such a broad test. Ideally, it’s best to hire a tutor for the entire school year for ongoing support for your child so their grades never dip, they continue to feel confident in the classroom, and you’re not scrambling to find someone last minute.
Speaking of tutoring, Strategic Test Prep will be offering math & science tutoring beginning in the fall of the 2022-2023 school year! Spread the word!
Good luck to all the students taking exams in the third week of June. It’s not an easy transition, but these students who got through COVID have shown us how resilient they can be and they will get through this!