I hate taking standardized tests! And I’m ok saying that. Now that we know my weakness in life, what are we going to do about it?
Every student will come across a standardized test they have to take. They need to go into the test with the right attitude and the right strategies, otherwise they will be setting themselves up for failure.
Here are some test taking strategies that may help you, your child, or the students you work with:
1) POSITIVE ATTITUDE: If you don’t have the right attitude, failure will be right around the corner. It is imperative that you wake up the morning of the test with a positive attitude. It doesn’t have to be “you love taking tests,” but it does need to be “I can do well on this test.”
2) PRACTICE: Just like playing baseball or tennis, you must practice to be good. Same is true with tests, you must practice and learn some strategies about how to tackle the difficult questions. Now days, there are on-line practice tests you can do for free. Teachers, be sure to practice with your students. This doesn’t mean teach the test, it means teach your students how to take a test. After you practice, analyze how you did in order to learn your strengths and weaknesses.
2) GET TO SCHOOL OR THE TEST EARLY: If you are late, that is just one more thing you’ll have on your mind. Get there early, sharpen your pencils, get some water and be ready to go.
3) DRESS FOR SUCCESS: If you are not wearing something comfortable, then you might not be able to focus as well. Have a sweater or a jacket just in case it is cold. Always sit up straight with good posture ready to beat this test.
4) STAY RELAXED AND CONFIDENT: Keep that positive attitude and know you are well prepared. If you are nervous, take some deep breaths. Don’t speak to others about the test, as that might only give you more anxiety.
5) READ THOSE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY: Dodge those careless mistakes upfront by reading the directions. Be sure to do the entire test and maybe do the easy parts first. This will build up your self confidence early. Don’t get stuck on that one hard question.
6) GO BACK AND CHECK YOUR WORK: If you still have time at the end, go back and check your work. Make sure you didn’t skip any questions and always proof read your writing.
7) THE 12 POWERFUL WORDS (BY LARRY BELL): I once heard a speaker who discussed the 12 Powerful Words seen on standardized tests. These higher order thinking skill words need to be discussed prior to the test being taken.
The words are: Analyze, Evaluate, Describe, Infer, Support, Explain, Summarize, Compare, Contrast, Predict, Trace, and Formulate
Knowing and understanding these words upfront might just put you over the top.
8) MISCELLANEOUS: Get a good night sleep, eat a good breakfast, drink lots of water, and last but not least, if you don’t understand something, ALWAYS ASK!
Best wishes to all of you that must take a standardized test over the next few months. Hopefully these strategies will help you find success. Don’t forget your #2 pencils.