Your child is scheduled to sit with a psychologist to take the Stanford-Binet exam for Hunter College Elementary School admissions in a couple of weeks, and you want to do just a little bit more to give them an edge and help them feel comfortable beforehand. What are the most important things you can do and keep in mind in these last few days? Keep reading to discover some simple tips and suggestions!
Talk, talk, talk!
The Stanford-Binet exam is an extremely verbal-heavy exam, with an emphasis on verbal expression, description, and explanation. Many families may not speak primarily English at home, but now is the time to be more conscious of that fact and to consistently incorporate more English into you and your child’s daily communication. Just because your child is comfortable expressing themselves in their mother tongue does not necessarily mean that they have that same comfort and ease in English. Ask your everyday questions in English, read stories, and even watch some short videos to keep the English and language flowing.
Don’t cram in too much formal preparation!
A young child is not developmentally capable of cramming for an exam like a college student or an adult. If there is a content area or skill they have not yet mastered, repeated stressful practice with it will hinder, not help, the situation. The worst thing you can do in the last few days is constantly try to practice and try to make your child learn the content in a short period of time. Additionally, your child will sense any stress and frustration you feel about the situation, and they may potentially shut down and resist the practice even more. You can still work these areas of practice in here and there, but be sure to also revisit areas in which your child does well, so as to keep up their confidence.
Continue with your routines!
If your child has an established routine, do not deviate from it, especially in the last days before the exam! Switching things up too much can be a shock to the system and potentially cause your child to become overwhelmed, stubborn, frustrated, or even overly excited, at a time when they need to be cool, calm, and collected in order to enter this new environment and meet this new person. Depending on your child, you may tell them a couple of weeks or days beforehand that they’re going to meet someone to do some puzzles and answer some questions. However, if this will cause them any anxiety or nerves, you would be best to wait until closer to the scheduled date, but always keep your routines in place as much as possible!
The night before and the day of!
Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep, eats a good breakfast/lunch or solid snack beforehand, and, most importantly, don’t arrive at the office with your child groggy from just having woken up from a nap. Treat exam day like any other day--don’t place any extra importance or pressure on it in such a way that may overly excite or overwhelm your child in such a way that they won’t be able to calmly enter the room and remain focused for 30-60 minutes. It is also beneficial that the adult bringing them to the appointment is someone from whom they can quickly and easily separate and not be overly focused on getting back to.
Preparing your child for taking the Stanford-Binet exam can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the last few days before the appointment do not have to be! Take a deep breath, trust your child, and trust in the psychologist to know how to eke out all of the knowledge and skills your child has learned and practiced over the last few months.