Last-minute tips for parents ahead of STAAR exam

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HOUSTON – STAAR testing can bring on anxiety for students. It's a huge exam for kids across Texas. Students have been preparing for the tests all school year.

Students and parents shared what they did to prepare and why this the test is so important to them.

"I'm nervous because I want to pass," said seventh-grader Delyla Brown.

Like so many students, the thought of failing any test does not sit well with Brown. She said it's important to work extra hard on the STAAR tests because it starts paving the way for your future.

"My mom and my dad were just like take my time and go slow. Don't rush," Brown said.

"Just make sure I answer every question, not leave anything blank and to answer the easier ones first," said eighth-grader Tracy Radley.

McDonald's restaurants helped students be test-ready by offering free breakfast to teachers and students Tuesday.
Parents say every little bit helps students succeed. 

"Yes, they read extra and went to bed early of course," said parent Leticia Sanchez.

"They had to go to bed early so they could get up early. Just take it easy; not to stress out just read the questions and try their best."

Here is some last-minute advice for parents ahead of the test. 

Don’t skip the most important meal of the day

  • Breakfast is very important Nutritionists suggest high-protein foods like lean meat, eggs, low-sugar yogurt, slow-releasing energy carbs like oats and quinoa and healthy fats like nuts. 
  • Make sure your kids drink lots of water
  • Avoid sugary cereal or a huge pancake breakfast with lots of syrup
  • Resist the urge to overstuff your child
  • Set your child up for the day

Explain how and why their classroom may look different 

  • Ask them if they have any questions or concerns. Kids take their cues from parents and teachers, even when they don’t seem to be listening. Teachers recommend you put your own concerns or opinions about state testing aside in favor of an encouraging dialogue with your child. If your child seems worried, discuss “what if” scenarios and remind your child of all of the things that were done to prepare for the test.
  • Dress your child in layers so your child will be comfortable at any temperature

Relax your child

  • You might also suggest a brisk walk or other physical activity before or after breakfast so that your child has the chance to build up a head of energy, or burn off anxiety, before heading to the testing location.
  • Do relaxing activities. Take deep breaths, tense muscles and then relax and talk about something other than the STAAR exam

Arrive to school a few minutes early

  • If possible, get a head start. This is one day you don’t want to be stressed out about getting stuck in traffic.

Be an encourager

  • Create a, “You’ve got this” frame of mind that will help your child approach test week with confidence.
  • Send your child off with a huge hug. Be their biggest cheerleader and build their confidence 
  • Surprise them with a special note. Put a note in their lunch box to just say, “Hi” and wish them a great day. It doesn't have to be fancy. A sticky note that says, “I love you” will lift a tired spirit. 
  • Got older kids? Send them a quick lunchtime text showing your support. Don’t ask how it’s going, just say, “I am thinking about you, have a great day.” Whether they admit it in public or not, our kids need our love and support on a daily basis