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6 Test Taking Errors to Avoid

The questionnaire1. Misread Direction Errors

These errors occur when you skip directions or misunderstand directions but answer the question or do the problem anyway.

To avoid this type of error, read all the directions.

2. Careless Errors

Mistakes made which can be caught automatically upon reviewing the test.

To avoid this type of error, watch for simple mistakes carefully as you review the test.

3. Concept Errors

Mistakes made when you do not understand the properties or principles required to work the problem.

To avoid this type of error in the future, you must go back to your textbook or notes and learn why you missed the problems.

4. Application errors

Mistakes that you make when you know this concept but cannot apply it to the problem.

To reduce this type of error, you must, learn to predict the type of application problems that will be on the test.

5. Test Procedure Errors

Mistakes that you make because of the specific way you take tests, such as:

  1. Missing more questions in the 1st-third, 2nd-third or last third of a test. If you find that you miss more questions in a certain part of the test consistently, use your remaining test time to review that part of the test first.
  2. Not completing a problem to its last step.
    To avoid this mistake, review the last step of a test problem first, before doing an in-depth test review.
  3. Changing test answers from the correct ones to incorrect ones.
    If you are a bad answer changer, then write on your test “Don’t change answers.” Only change answers if you can prove to yourself or to the instructor that the changed answer is correct.
  4. Getting stuck on one problem and spending too much time.
    Set a time limit for each problem before moving to the next problem.
  5. Rushing through the easiest part of the test and making careless errors.
    If you do this often, after finishing the test review the easy problems first, then review the harder problems.
  6. Miscopying an answer from your scratch work to the test.
    To avoid this, systematically compare your last problem step on scratch paper with the answer on the test.
  7. Leaving answers blank
    Write down some information or try at least to do the first step.

6. Study Errors

Mistakes that occur when you study the wrong type of material or do not spend enough time studying pertinent material.

To avoid these errors in the future, take some time to track down why the errors occurred so that you can study more effectively the next time.

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Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem

thankful kidsHealthy self-esteem is like a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic. In contrast, kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as “I’m no good” or “I can’t do anything right,” they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response might be “I can’t.”

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is similar to self-worth (how much a person values himself or herself). This can change from day to day or from year to year, but overall self-esteem tends to develop from infancy and keep going until we are adults. Self-esteem also can be defined as feeling capable while also feeling loved. A child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. Likewise, a child who feels loved but is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also develop low self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem comes when a good balance is maintained. Patterns of self-esteem start very early in life. The concept of success following effort and persistence starts early. Once people reach adulthood, it’s harder to make changes to how they see and define themselves. So, it’s wise to think about developing and promoting self-esteem during childhood. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why parental involvement is key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions. Parents and caregivers can promote healthy self-esteem by showing encouragement and enjoyment in many areas. Avoid focusing on one specific area; for example, success on a spelling test, which can lead to kids feeling that they’re only as valuable as their test scores.

Signs of Unhealthy and Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem fluctuates as kids grow. It’s frequently changed and fine-tuned, because it is affected by a child’s experiences and new perceptions. So it helps to be aware of the signs of both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem. Kids with low self-esteem may not want to try new things and may speak negatively about themselves: “I’m stupid,” “I’ll never learn how to do this,” or “What’s the point? Nobody cares about me anyway.” They may exhibit a low tolerance for frustration, giving up easily or waiting for somebody else to take over. They tend to be overly critical of and easily disappointed in themselves. Kids with low self-esteem see temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions, and a sense of pessimism prevails. This can place kids at risk for stress and mental health problems, as well as real difficulties solving different kinds of problems and challenges they encounter. Kids with healthy self-esteem tend to enjoy interacting with others. They’re comfortable in social settings and enjoys group activities as well as independent pursuits. When challenges arise, they can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others. For example, rather than saying, “I’m an idiot,” a child with healthy self-esteem says, “I don’t understand this.” They know their strengths and weaknesses, and accept them. A sense of optimism prevails. — How Parents Can Help How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child? These tips can make a big difference:

  • Be careful what you say. Kids can be sensitive to parents’ and others’ words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done, but also for effort. But be truthful. For example, if your child doesn’t make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, “Well, next time you’ll work harder and make it.” Instead, try “Well, you didn’t make the team, but I’m really proud of the effort you put into it.” Reward effort and completion instead of outcome.Sometimes, a child’s skill level is just not there — so helping kids overcome disappointments can really help them learn what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. As adults, it’s OK to say “I can’t carry a tune” or “I couldn’t kick a ball to save my life,” so use warmth and humor to help your kids learn about themselves and to appreciate what makes them unique.
  • Be a positive role model. If you’re excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your kids might eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem and they’ll have a great role model.
  • Identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs. It’s important for parents to identify kids’ irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they’re about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping kids set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-concept.Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids. For example, a child who does very well in school but struggles with math may say, “I can’t do math. I’m a bad student.” Not only is this a false generalization, it’s also a belief that can set a child up for failure. Encourage kids to see a situation in a more objective way. A helpful response might be: “You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is a subject that you need to spend more time on. We’ll work on it together.”
  • Be spontaneous and affectionate. Your love will help boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and tell kids you’re proud of them when you can see them putting effort toward something or trying something at which they previously failed. Put notes in your child’s lunchbox with messages like “I think you’re terrific!”Give praise often and honestly, but without overdoing it. Having an inflated sense of self can lead kids and teens to put others down or feel that they’re better than everyone else, which can be socially isolating.
  • Give positive, accurate feedback. Comments like “You always work yourself up into such a frenzy!” will make kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, “I can see you were very angry with your brother, but it was nice that you were able to talk about it instead of yelling or hitting.” This acknowledges a child’s feelings, rewards the choice made, and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time.
  • Create a safe, loving home environment. Kids who don’t feel safe or are abused at home are at greatest risk for developing poor self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may feel they have no control over their environment and become helpless or depressed.Also watch for signs of abuse by others, problems in school, trouble with peers, and other factors that may affect kids’ self-esteem. Encourage your kids to talk to you or other trusted adults about solving problems that are too big to solve by themselves.
  • Help kids become involved in constructive experiences.Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem. For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps a younger one learn to read can do wonders for both kids. Volunteering and contributing to your local community can have positive effects on self-esteem for everyone involved.

When promoting healthy self-esteem, it’s important to not have too much or too little but “just enough.” Make sure your kids don’t end up feeling that if they’re average or normal at something, it’s the same as not being good or special.

Finding Professional Help

If you suspect your child has low self-esteem, consider getting professional help. Child and adolescent therapists and counselors can help identify coping strategies to help deal with problems at school or home in ways that help kids feel better about themselves. Therapy can help kids learn to view themselves and the world more realistically and help with problem-solving. Developing the confidence to understand when you can deal with a problem and when to ask for help is vital to positive self esteem. Taking responsibility and pride in who you are is a sure sign of healthy self-esteem and the greatest gift parents can give to their child.

Reviewed by: Michelle New, PhD

Date reviewed: March 2012

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Top 5 Brain Boosting Maths Websites

You thought that the internet was good for nothing when it comes to your kids, right? Check out these 5 brain boosting maths websites that will turn your child into a mathematical genius in no time!

Boy Typing on Laptop

We always blame the internet for being such a nuisance in our children’s lives, but what if we told you that the very same internet can help your kids with maths? In fact, come to think of it, the internet actually has a plethora of free and easily available resources for any maths newbie. We combed through several websites to bring you some of the best go-to maths sites, which are sure to help you raise the genius your child was meant to be!

1. Yummy Math

This site is a great resource for both students and teachers to learn and understand the relevance of maths in everyday life. The examples are current and interesting from calculating the cost of owning an iPhone to deciphering the ‘greatness’ or value of sports players through simple equations. The real-life examples provided in this maths website will engage students to think about how they can use and incorporate maths in their daily lives.

hamburger qn Top 5 brain boosting maths websites

http://www.yummymath.com/

2. A+ Click
A+ Click is a great maths website that offers thousands of illustrated mathematical problems, which range from kindergarten level to the more advanced algebraic equations. This site is especially useful for visual-spatial learners, since a visual model accompanies each equation. The tests adapt to each student’s ability depending on how fast they can correctly answer five questions consecutively.

Check out what A+ Click looks like!

Check out what A+ Click looks like! >>   http://www.aplusclick.com/

3. SuperKids Math
Sometimes looking at the computer screen for too long can tire your children’s eyes. This maths website site is great because it provides printables of worksheets that can be customised. Whatever level your child may be at, you can just input the subject as well as the minimum and maximum numbers to be used and a custom worksheet will be created. All with a click of a button — no need for expensive assessment books anymore. Definitely a site to be bookmarked!

Screen Shot 2013 05 01 at 12.14.26 PM Top 5 brain boosting maths websites

4. Math Playground
A playground is for kids to get a workout and have tons of fun, which is exactly what Math Playground’s motto is too. With interactive games, fun puzzles and visual problems, Math Playground definitely gives your child’s brain a robust workout! Kids and parents can choose from a wide array of topics that feature problem sums, flashcards and printables. The graphics on this maths website are very colourful, and feature graphic games reminiscent of video games. We are sure that your kid will not be bored!

Screen Shot 2013 05 01 at 12.10.25 PM Top 5 brain boosting maths websites

5. Fun Brain
Can brainy stuff be fun? Of course, it can! And this ‘fun’ that we speak of is certainly the centre of attraction when it comes to Fun Brain. This maths website is a chock full of fun games that encourage children to pick up and practice maths skills. Topics such as fractions, multiplication as well as algebra, are weaved into racing and soccer games, which will engage and excite your child. Best part is they may not even be aware that they are studying a subject like maths!

fun brain Top 5 brain boosting maths websites

http://www.funbrain.com/numbers.html

RELATED: Math Drills app: ‘techy’ teacher’s delight

Tell us if you’ve tried any of these top 5 brain-boosting sites! Is there a specific maths website that your child preferred more?

Check out this video of a child reviewing the Math Playground website:

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8 Ways to Make Your Child’s School Maths Revision Add Up

Numbers-on-a-hopscotch-gr-007

When preparing for a Maths exam, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work that you need to do, or the amount of content that you need to cover. Moreover, anyone who’s not a natural mathematician will find it difficult to break down and practice particular problems, and will need to spend more time revising core parts of a course. There are a number of approaches, however, that can help you to improve your child’s Maths revision and help them get the most out of their exams.

1. Break Down the Exam

Look at the syllabus and what your child needs to cover in the exam, and check with their tutors or teachers over what sort of time you need to allocate to different parts of the test. Some questions in an exam are only worth one or two marks, so make sure they know how much time they need to work on them – doing practice tests can make it easier.

2. Practice Writing Out Your Calculations

To work through ideas effectively, and to practice for the exam, encourage your teen to write out their calculations and formulas, and draw graphs and equations.

3. Identify Key Areas

When looking at the syllabus, try to identify areas that they are particularly unsure about, and make sure that they spend more time on them than going over anything they’re already familiar with. You may want to speak to their tutor about extra resources if they’re struggling with a particular area.

4. Practice with Friends and Family

This is a particularly useful approach if there’s a mental Maths part of a test – asking them questions, or even just getting them to recite formulae, can help your child to be more confident for an upcoming exam.

5. Update Your Child’s Equipment

While they should already have all the equipment they need from their lessons, it’s worth double checking that they have, and are comfortable with using their calculator, and any extra tools they might need on the day of the exam.

6. Use Revision Cards

Cue cards and notes can be particularly useful for remembering key points, and can be stuck up around their room to remind them. Diagrams and equations can also be added and stuck to noticeboards to go over.

7. Use Maths Revision Apps

There are many different apps available for  Maths revision, depending on what level they’re studying. Collins offer revision apps to go with their textbooks, while the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize series has its own series of apps. Maths Card and other apps are also useful for producing virtual post it notes, and for taking practice tests.

8. Vary Their Revision

Perhaps the most important thing to focus on when doing Maths revision is to vary it to make sure they’re not overloading themselves in key areas. Don’t let them focus on one area all the time, and try not to allow them to get stuck on parts of an exam that they find too difficult – similarly, a long period of gradual revision is always better than rushing to get everything completed on time a few weeks before an exam is set to be held.