Test Taking Tips
- Practice BEFORE reading strategies. Read for a purpose. Skim the captions, questions, pictures, etc. before reading the passage to figure out what the passage is about. Ask yourself what you already know about the subject.
- Be familiar with various types of reading questions on state tests such as: main idea, author’s purpose, author's point of view, author’s message, fact/opinion, plot & setting, similes & metaphors, vocabulary using context clues, figurative language, synonyms/ homonyms, and analogies.
- Practice reading a broad array of materials, such as: text books, editorials, biographies/autobiographies, consumer materials , how-to articles, primary sources (i.e. Bill of Rights), short stories, literary essays (i.e. critiques, personal narratives), excerpts, historical fiction, plays, fables and folk tales.
- Practice DURING reading strategies. Highlight or using post-it notes to mark important text. Decide on a note-taking strategy that works for you ( i.e. two-column notes with main idea in left column and supporting details in right column). Make webs or bubble charts to organize information ( i.e. start with the main idea and construct a web linking supporting details to the main idea).
- Practice AFTER reading strategies. Summarize the key ideas in one sentence. Use a reflection log to record the main points of the reading. Build a pyramid to organize the cause & effect or the turning point & decision.
Math test items assess students in:
- Number Sense
- Patterns, Functions, and Algebra
- Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
- Spatial Sense, Geometry, and Measurement
- Make word problems a priority. Have your son/daughter write their own word problems based on situations in the environment, literature, or current events.
- Stress Number Sense. Take time to help your son/daughter find where, how, and in what context numbers are reported in the newspaper. Compare the area of a hockey rink or tennis court to help quantify their world and see the usefulness of numbers.
- Focus on estimation. Give your son/daughter “flash quizzes” ( i.e. estimate the sum of 422+599 in their heads).
- Emphasize mental math. This involves tapping into students’ natural way of doing math ( i.e. have your son/daughter share how they arrived at an answer).
- Practice basic facts. Quiz your son/daughter on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts regularly.
Before the Test
- Eat a nutritious breakfast on the morning of the test.
- Bring the right supplies. Check with your teacher regarding what to bring. (sharpened no. 2 pencils, highlighters, calculator).
- Get adequate sleep the night before the test.
- Wear comfortable clothing on test day.
During the Test
- Read all parts of a question and the answer choices carefully before you choose an answer.
- Cross out obvious wrong answers.
- Skip any items you don’t know, lightly mark the item you skipped, and come back to it later.
- If you are unsure of an answer, go with your first choice.
- Notice how words are emphasized (i.e. Underlined, Bolded, Italicized, or CAPITALIZED).
- Fill in the ovals on the answer sheet completely.
- Erase carefully and completely.
- Answer EVERY question.
- Review your answers.
- If time permits, go back over the test as though it’s your first time (with a “new set of eyes”). You’ll be surprised by the mistakes you might find.