Test-taking Strategies

All the research indicates that it takes a certain set of test-taking strategies to be successful when testing. Here is a version of the success set of skills. Relax. You could GOOGLE (or whatever search engine you like) the phrase “test prep skills” or “test preparation strategies” and read up too if you like.

TIPS for all the time before you actually take the test (like all year and all life) .    .    .

  1. Relax
  2. Stay Organized.
  3. Never throw away important papers.
  4. Read all kinds of stuff
    1. Read non-fiction
      1. in a literature book
      2. in a newspaper or magazine or book
      3. Read for enjoyment.
      4. Read for grades.
    2. Read fiction
      1. in a literature book
      2. in a newspaper or magazine or book
      3. Read for enjoyment.
      4. Read for grades.
    3. Read poetry
      1. in a literature book
      2. in a newspaper or magazine or book
      3. Read for enjoyment.
      4. Read for grades.
  5. Talk about what you’ve been reading with others.
    1. Fool- proof your comprehension
      1. Find out if you misunderstood anything
      2. Change your understanding if you have to.
    2. Be prepared
  6. Watch some comedy movie(s) in the weeks before the test. Comedy tends to lighten the heart and create an air of relaxation.
  7. Relax

TIPS for the day and evening right before the TEST.

  1. Eat a good dinner.
    1. Have a balanced meal.
    2. Do not eat dinner late at night.
    3. Do not have any late night snacks.
  2. Go to sleep early.

TIPS for when it’s time to deal with the TEST and passages . . . The Day of the Test.

  1. Wake up a bit earlier than usual.
  2. Have a nutritionally packed yet light breakfast, but do not over eat.
    1. Over eating could make you tired during the test. Relax.
    2. Enjoy the meal as you know it will be powering your brain today.
    3. Balanced meals are usually low in sugar and packed with vitamins and nutrients
      1. vitamin and mineral fortified cereal (I like multigrain cherrios, Joe’s O’s [Trader Joe’s offering], Life cereals, Quaker Oatmel Squares, but you eat what works for you)
      2. fresh fruit (I like grapefruits, oranges, apples, pears, you know just about any one of the fruits, but you eat what works for you)
      3. milk (I like soy milk, but you drink what works for you)
      4. juice (I like OJ, Carrot blend, V8, tomatoe, but you drink what works for you)
      5. nuts, nuts, nuts
  3. Go to that happy place right before the test.
  4. Think positively. Negative thoughts can bog you down in horrible thought patterns.
  5. During the Test
    1. Read the instructions.
    2. Preview the questions (not the answers); this should take seconds per question.
      1. Identify what skill(s) or concepts the question is testing
      2. Identify the focus of the question
    3. Read the passage
      1. Fold pages so you can quickly identify places within the TEXT where you can return to review answers to difficult questions.
        1. This helps you continue progressing through the TEXT rather than spending too much time on one item.
    4. Answer the questions (now – look at all answer choices)
      1. Work on questions you are very sure of first.
      2. Use the process of elimination
      3. Go back to questions you’re not sure of.
    5. Check your work, if time allows.
    6. Leave nothing blank.
  6. Relax

TIPS for when it’s all done . . .

  1. Relax
  2. Relax

Prentice Hall offers a great suite of pages on Student Success Tips.

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