Getting "F"'s on in class tests.. - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Getting "F"'s on in class tests..

Onthemove1971 profile image

Our son works so hard in school. Last year he got an A in integrated math 1. This was during the pandemic.

This year in person he ( intergrated math 2) has all good greats on projects, homework, etc. He spends 3 hours extra tutoring math and usually gets the questions right or at least shows mastery. Our son and I had a meeting with his math teacher and he says he doesn't understand why he is failing tests. Our son understands the concept, sometimes turns and helps his tablemate by teaching it. He goes to in class tutoring and takes a test and fails it. He retakes it fails again (sometimes even lower).

I also want to tell everyone if your child is struggling with things in elementary or middle school... please get them help! I knew in middle school he struggled taking tests, but now it is 1000% worse..

We pay a tutor 6 hours a week for math and english. He is in the school flex time with his math teacher 4 days a week.

We are at our wits end. He shows mastery everywhere but on the test..

So hard to watch him fail.


8 Replies

Hi, I feel your frustration with such an important issue.May I suggest to take a small samples of similar questions from his teacher for your son to answer the questions at home in the time allocated to answer.

After that ask the teacher to sit with your child while answering small sample of questions. The teacher can go over the answers with your child to find out why your child answer these questions in the manner he did.

That might help to find out if anxiety or fear of failure are are the reason, or he may need a better strategy in taking tests.

This sounds so much like my daughter. Please have your son checked for anxiety. Turned out that was my daughter’s problem all along. She know just takes an anti anxiety medication and has excelled. The overwhelming fear, crowds, and pressure were to much and coping became to difficult.

A good psychiatrist would help you determine. Take care, stay diligent you are your sons best advocate.

Hi there. While all children (with or without ADHD) are different, 3 potential explanations (and the first two exacerbate the third) are working memory deficits, slower processing speed and test anxiety. You are aware that a known component of ADHD is working memory deficit. While your intelligent son understands the concepts and can reproduce them for his teacher, tutor and other students, solving a complex math problem (at his age) can involve multiple steps (sometimes 15 or more) which can be difficult to reproduce in test situations and can lead to test anxiety. Second, most children with ADHD have slow processing speed. This makes math more difficult and the timed aspects of most math tests leads (again) to test anxiety. The ability to complete problems quickly says nothing about what a child actually understands about math but timed math tests seem to be the default and discriminate against children with slow processing speeds. I am sure that your son's 504 plan has increased time for tests, but what about removing ANY time limit for completion of math tests? This can certainly be accomplished with some "outside the box thinking " (and hopefully as a result of your relationship with the school as an educator, you'll get less "push back" than most on this) and may not only improve his performance on the tests (since he knows the material) but may also significantly decrease, if not eliminate, the math test anxiety. Frankly, knowing the material and being able to demonstrate it to his teacher should be all that is necessary (since the point is for him to LEARN, after all), but eliminating testing in a world focused upon scores and tests is probably not realistic (at least not in the short term). Perhaps eliminating time limits which discriminate against children with working memory and processing speed disabilities is a good first step. Just some thoughts. I wish the best to you and your son.

I love it! This is what I am looking for. They have offered to allow him to take it in 2 parts on 2 different days. I think we will start there. He does not want to be removed from the class because if he gets stuck or needs help, or if other students ask questions he loses out on learning from their questions. We are increasing tutor ( in fact the school has a retired math teacher) on Fridays and we will try to "simulate" timed problems with the tutor.

I guess the discuss is sometimes our kids fail and we don't know why and we have to try the out of box thinking. His math teacher really likes him and gave him an "outstanding" for citizenship which he was thrilled about.

One last thing.. it feels like life is never easy. Not that I am jealous, but I speak to so many parents with kids in AP classes and they are they are getting above a 4.0 and we are just surviving.

Thanks for the feedback everyone..

I will let you know how the 2 part test goes and if the extra help is an answer.

What I tell my son applies, I am sure, to yours as well. I tell him that most adults never learned to truly work hard and very few do their best every day. The fact that he has learned to work harder than his peers and to do his best every day will make him not only successful, but extraordinary!!

As always.. thanks!

It sounds like you received great advice here. No advice, just a kindred spirit. Some days begin with holding our breath and peeking out of one eye for fear of the next challenge we must deal with. I look forward to hearing how this all works out for you! Best!

Thanks! I needed those spirts..One day at a time.

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