Test Taking Tips

Whether you’re a high school student or a student in grades 3 – 8, that is required to take a federally mandated standardized test, the anxiety and stress associated with the pressure of taking a test can be overwhelming.

The following 5 best test taking tips will help get the most out of testing:

    1. Do Your Research

  • Find out information about the test schedule and format.
  • Find out how students are being prepped at school and what is actually being tested and measured.
  • Find out if results could affect future placement.
  • Inquire about test-taking strategies and how students can prepare or practice at home.
  • Determine if hiring a tutor would be beneficial.

    2. Prep in Advance

  • From the get-go, continue to build and maintain good homework and study habits.
  • Communicate regularly with teachers in an effort to stay on top of how the student is performing in school.
  • Practice, practice, practice – the more a student is familiar with the test style questions, the better they will feel on test day.
  • Review and discuss good test-taking strategies. Those strategies include:
  • o Understanding the instructions at hand
    o Answering questions you know first
    o Not spending too much time on questions you don’t know
    o Review answers if time is left at the end

    3. Maintain Perspective

  • Remember that standardized tests are only one measure of academic achievement and performance.
  • Don’t stress! Be careful not to transfer your concerns and nervousness to your child; children may become anxious if they are worried about disappointing a parent/guardian.
  • Keep in mind that test results help identify strengths as well as areas that are in need of improvement.

    4. Be Prepared the Day Before

  • Make sure the student is well rested, eats a healthy breakfast, and packs a nutritious snack.
  • Pack up the night before so you can have a relaxed morning and arrive early to school to decrease stress.
  • Remind your child to relax and follow instructions. Encourage them to do their best.

    5. Interpret Test Results and Continue Building Skills

  • Request help from your school or your tutor if you are not sure how to read and interpret test-result data.
  • Ask and discuss, with your teachers and tutors, the potential reasons for discrepancies between test scores and school performance.
  • Provide additional opportunities for your child to enhance learning in low-scoring areas.
  • Continue to build good study and homework habits; these skills support and allow for successful test taking.

A large number of schools have a no-homework policy during the weeks tests are given. It’s the perfect opportunity to call your tutor and utilize this stress-free afternoon time to catch up on old materials, revisit missed concepts, and even get ahead of the curve!