Preparing Students For HSE Test Day

Posted by on November 27th, 2018

When it comes to High School Equivalency (HSE) test day, students of any age can be feeling nervous. After all, they’ve just spent a substantial amount of time in a prep course or studying to take this very exam. They want to succeed, and now it’s time to prove they’ve learned and prepared themselves.  

Before students go to their testing sites, it’s important to walk them through these important tips to best prepare for test day.  



Make sure they understand what’s expected of them.  This is beyond the content of the exam, but it’s crucial for them to not be surprised about how long the test is.  For example, The TASC test is a national test that measures national educational standards. The TASC test has five subtests (Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies). It takes approximately eight‐and‐a‐half hours to complete, and is usually administered over two days. Students need to have strategies that will help them best take this exam.



Encourage students to spend their day lightly reviewing the areas they feel the least confident in.  The day before and night before isn’t for cramming. Light review is key, as the day before should be used to relax and rest. Students don’t want to exhaust themselves.  The hard work and studying has been done in the weeks leading up to the test. Now is the time to rest the mind, and be ready for the big day tomorrow.



The key to success is careful preparation.  The classes you’ve been attending and the studying you’ve been doing are all part of your preparation.  But now you need to prepare the little details. Have your pencils, erasers, calculators, and a bottle of water all ready for test day.  Plan what comfortable clothes to wear. Take care of all these things before the morning of the test and it will help alleviate any extra stress and prepare the mind for taking the test.   



Make sure the students know where the test will be taken and ensure they have their transportation needs taken care of.  Again, this is something to be done before test day, to make sure there are no surprises or mistakes that will add to the stress of the student.  Know where the testing location is and know exactly how they will be traveling to it.



Make sure students understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Being well rested will help calm the nerves and keep the mind clear, giving the students their best chance to succeed.  

The night before and morning of meals should be healthy.  Avoid sugar and fried food and stick to quality brain foods such as:

  • Whole grains (oatmeal, granola, quinoa, etc.)
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, apples, pears, etc.)
  • Fresh vegetables (broccoli, celery, carrots, etc.)

Sometimes students will feel nervous before the test. But tell them to not skip breakfast. Eating will give them energy and may even help calm those nerves.  



Tell students to stay calm and do their best. The preparation has been done during the coursework and studying over the last few weeks and months.  Remind your students that now is the time believe in yourself.

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