10 Tips to Help your Middle Schooler or Teen Sit Still During a Test.

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Test taking in middle school can be stressful for your child and he/she may find it difficult to sit still throughout the duration of the test. There are a number of bored boy taking a testdifferent strategies that you can teach and provide your child to help organize his/her body for improved focus during a test.

 10 Tips To Help a Child Sit Still During a Test:

1. Eat well and sleep well on the days leaving up to the test: This will ensure the body and brain are well nourished on the day of the test.

2. Work out before the test: Getting exercise and activity can help the body and mind to focus and organize for a day’s work, particularly on testing day.

3. Take deep breaths: Prior to test day, review deep breathing techniques with your child so that he/she can exercise the deep breaths during the test. Deep breaths will help calm your child and help him/her focus.

4. Drink from water bottle: Encourage your child to keep a water bottle with a straw on his/her desk during the test. Have him/her take sips from it when he/she begins to feel antsy during the exam.

5. Fidget tools: Small items such as stress balls, rubber bands or bean balloons can be manipulated with the hands while seated at the desk during the test. .

6. ChewEase pencil toppers: An alternative to a fidget tool, the chewy pencil topper can help direct your child’s extra energy during the exam and help with concentration.

7. Wall pushes: Have your child take a break from the test to do wall pushes. Similar to push ups on the floor, place hands shoulder width apart at shoulder level on the wall and keep the back straight. Do 10 wall pushes by bending elbows and bringing the nose to the wall, while keeping the back and hips in line.

8. Use a timer or a stopwatch: This will help your child time him/herself throughout the test and know how to pace him/herself during the exam period.

9. Chair push ups during the test: Place hands on either side of the chair near the hips. Push through the hands and shoulders to lift bottom up off of chair. Do 10 repetitions.

10. Sit on large exercise ball/move-n-sit cushion: Sitting on a therapy ball or move-n-sit cushion will provide your child with controlled movement and vestibular input while seated during the test. This will aide in your child’s focus without him/her needing to get up out of the desk.

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Dana Pais

Dana Nadel, OTD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist who obtained her Masters of Occupational Therapy (MS) and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her doctoral studies, she spent time working in Lima, Peru at the Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru (CASP), a center for families and their children with cognitive and physical disabilities, where she provided intervention for many children and their families in the areas of low vision accessibility, independent living, school inclusion and supportive employment. Her interests include sensory processing and its impact on daily life and managing visual deficits. She is passionate about helping children reach their full potential in every aspect of their lives.

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