Thursday, February 21, 2008

Learning Styles and Tests

If you are familiar with the concept of learning styles, you will realise that your child’s learning style will have an impact on the type of classroom test that your child prefers.

· Analytic children generally prefer questions that require factual detailed answers, typically in the form of “True/False” or Fill-the-missing-word or List 5 differences between a snail and a frog.
· Holistic children may do better in essay-type tests and more open-ended questions.
· Impulsive children will like multiple-choice type tests.
· Visual children will enjoy tests with lots of pictures: label this diagram, draw a cross-section of a plant cell, etc.

Of course, your child’s very attitude to tests will also depend on her unique learning style. If she is a holistic learner, she will need to understand the purpose of the test. Tell her tests are important to monitor learning progress and to show how well the teacher is doing his job.

Holistic children may also get more stressed in test situations. Try to remove as much of the stress as possible: ask the teacher to let them take the test in their preferred environment (based on their LSA results). Give your child a test at home every day for a month and then the test it won’t feel “special”, so the stress factor will be reduced. Removing the time factor (i.e., not letting them feel that there is a strict deadline for finishing the test) may make them perform better as well.

What motivates your child: external recognition (i.e., doing well in the test) or the internal knowledge that she understands and knows the material?

To analyse your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.


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