My child didn't do as well on the tests as I expected. What can I do now?

First, Talk to your child.
Ask these questions:
  • Were you surprised by the score?
  • Do you think the score accurately reflects your knowledge?
  • Can you think of a particular reason why you might have done poorly on the test? Were you not feeling well that day? Did you have a fight with a friend?
  • Did you understand the test and why it was given?
  • Did you run into trouble budgeting your time?
  • Was there a particular section that was difficult even though you knew how to answer the rest of the questions?
  • How did you prepare for the test? Would it have helped if you had studied class notes? Did you reread the textbook chapters? Did you attend review sessions?

  • If you're not getting straight answers, or if your child just doesn't know the material, ask for a conference with your child's teacher. Talk about the scores. Ask if the scores reflect what the teacher sees in class. Also ask about how your child's test scores have changed from previous tests.

    If there is a large difference between what the teacher sees and what the test shows, try to figure out together what might have gone wrong.

    If you both agree that the test does not reflect your child's ability, and you can't figure out why your child did poorly, keep asking questions. Can your child take the test again? Some tests allow it; others do not.

    You and the teacher may decide that other steps should be taken to make sure your child has the help needed to succeed in school.
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