Ask the Experts

Test-Taking Tips

How can I slow down my child and have him follow the directions when he takes tests?

Many children with ADHD rush through their work because they are time-blind. You can work with them at home and in the classroom to improve this skill. Time Timer and Watch Plus are tools that visually reinforce the passing of time.

Another option is to play How Long? This can be done individually or with a group. Say, “Start,” wait a short period of time (a minute, say), and then have a child guess how much time has passed. Vary the amount of time as you play. You can also have them guess how long they spend taking a shower, brushing teeth, or eating a snack, and time it.

The teacher can help by giving a test to your child in parts, so that he spends an appropriate amount of time on each section, or allot time at the end for the child to go back over his answers. Directions can be written on the board or listed at the top of the test.