Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Test Frustration June 17, 2015

I’m frustrated.

I’m angry.

He’s failed his science test.  Again.

We studied the material.

The two of us – together.

I knew all about populations and habitats and migration patterns and evolutionary adaptations.

HE knew it.  He knew all about populations and habitats and migration patterns and evolutionary adaptations.


I really don’t know what else to do.  School work doesn’t come easy to him.  It takes a lot of effort on both our parts for him to get B’s and C’s.  I feel like it shouldn’t be this hard.  It’s elementary school.

It’s probably not fair to think like this but I never had to study in elementary school.  I got straight A’s anyway.


Is it him?  Is he rushing through the tests and being careless?

Is it me?  Am I not doing enough, or not doing the right thing, to help him?

When I ask him what the issue is or what will help, he shrugs.

I get more frustrated and more angry.


I spoke with a couple of friends.  One is the parent of 2 boys ages, 7 and 10.  One is a high school science teacher.

Both basically told me to chill out.


Remember” she said.  “As frustrated as you are, it’s frustrating for him too.  No kid WANTS to fail.”


“I’m sorry, I know it’s hard” he said.  “Talk to him.  Show your concern, not your anger.  It could be that something at school is bothering him.”


The test results don’t reflect his knowledge” she said.


He gave me jokes.  Made me laugh.  I relaxed.


I have amazing friends.

This morning I sent an e-mail to his teacher.  I asked questions and I made accommodation suggestions.  We will see what she says. She always responds with something helpful or insightful.

I will keep trying to think of new ideas.

I will implement some of the strategies my teacher friend gave me.

I will not quit.  I will be patient.  I will talk with him.  Turn that shrug into conversation.  Together, we will figure out what his best learning style and test taking style is.

We are both supported.  It’s a blessing.

He has an entire team of people wanting him to do well and willing to do what it takes to help him.


10 Responses to “Test Frustration”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Oh, my heart. I hope the teacher has some suggestions. With Jake, the test anxiety is overbearing. It causes him to shut down and be unable to access info, or he powers through so fast that he doesn’t read all of the questions. This year, the team gave him modified tests that were shorter than a typical test. We also got study guides early. It did help.
    Thank goodness you both have such great support systems. He will not fail. I know it. 🙂

    • Thanks Lisa. He doesn’t currently have any accommodations as far as the actual tests go. He just gets extra time and a less distracting environment. That’s something we will talk about for next year though. I think doing more practice tests at home will help too. I’m so glad you were able to find things that help Jake. 🙂

  2. NickyB. Says:

    Is it possibly that he can do half the test one day and the other half on the next? I’m just trying to figure out what other accommodation can be in place to help him.

    • That hasn’t come up as an option but I can bring it up and see. There are other test accommodations that can be made though such as reducing the number of options in a multiple choice test or giving him tests verbally etc. We will see how it works out. Thanks for the support and suggestion.

  3. Best of luck with finding the best accommodations for him. My son’s teacher this past year apparently doesn’t believe that such a thing as anxiety and panic attacks are real, despite a valid diagnosis. Even with accommodations, it was a horrible year with grades down the toilet. (My son has dyslexia that affects math, writing, and reading; as well as SPD and ADHD). Thankfully, 6th grade grades don’t follow the kid.

    • I have wondered if he doesn’t have a dose of dyslexia along with his ADHD. I don’t know much about it and it’s never been brought up to or by a doctor but I see what looks to me like traces of it in him. So far we’ve been really lucky about having teachers who are willing to work with us and to try different things to help him. I worry though that as he gets into higher and higher grades that will become less and less. In general, people seem a lot more inclined to work with and give chances to a younger kid than a teenager.

      • I had my son evaluated by a neuropsychologist for the dyslexia (technically it is labeled Learning Disabilities). And she diagnosed the ADHD. We were fortunate that our insurance covered the evaluation. Having the diagnosis ensures that my son will get the extra attention he needs. In my state of WA, they don’t screen the kids for dyslexia. In several states they screen for it and give the kids extra help who need it.

  4. I haven’t read all of the responses so this may be a repeat but some people get overwhelmed by the mere thought of having to take a test. It does not mean they don’t know the material, they just go blank when they have to sit down and take a written test. Maybe if he was allowed to take it verbally (not in front of the entire class of course) or give small portions of the test at a time so it is not so overwhelming? Poor kid, it must be hard on him to know he knows all of it only to fail the test.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. It’s definitely something I will bring up at his 1st parent/teacher/504 review meeting early in the next school year. I think smaller sections at a time would work great for him.

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