The 8yo has just sat his first exams. Five of them.
It seems terribly young to be sitting such formal tests, but he has taken them in his stride, and we are very proud of him.
Massachusetts is one of 13 states (I believe) currently participating in this years PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments and the 8yo sat three English Language Arts (ELA) papers and two Math ones.
He was quite anxious before the first exam, he likes to do well and was nervous of the formality of the tests. Sitting in exam conditions for 60-75 minutes isn’t something he had experienced before (unsurprisingly) and I can understand why he was a little unsure.
But, he has prepared well for them. Focussing on the practice papers that they did in class and for homework, and talking through strategies for the exams themselves. What to do if he got stuck, how to stay calm, how to effectively check his work. He was ready.
After each exam I have asked how he felt he got on, and have been greeted with the typical responses of okay, fine, not bad… But, he has expanded a little, with prompting, and it does sound as if he feels quite happy with how he did, going so far as to describe the questions, including the odd tricky one, to me.
While I can’t help but think that this is very young for exams, I have been very impressed with his attitude throughout. He has approached each one, even his least favourite of the English papers, with common sense and a cool head. He knows to take it slow, read carefully, check and re-check!
We’ve been careful to not put any additional pressure on him, we know that he will do his best, and have made sure to tell him so; to reassure him that we are proud of him, always.
He has been very mature, and I have found myself seeing the teenager that he will become more and more clearly.
And, he’s not even nine.
I am watching him grow up before my eyes.
His last exam was yesterday, and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief!
Have your children sat formal exams yet? How old were they when they took them and how did you help them prepare?
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