State Testing is Here!
Posted on 04/22/2013

Test Taking Tips and Strategies

State testing is upon us and, for some students, assessment anxiety builds. Testing can be a stressful time for children.  Knowing how to relieve some of that tension can make a big difference in not only personal well-being, but in testing results as well. Here are a few suggestions to handle the “stress of the test”.

    Before the testSleep tight! Get a good night’s sleep the night before each testing day. Scientific studies have determined that getting enough sleep improves memory recall and aids children in feeling calm, confident and alert.

 On the day of the test:  Eat right!  Start the day with a healthy breakfast of protein and complex carbohydrates.  Avoid sugary foods.  Make the morning a pleasant one and be sure to get to school on time.  Dress in layers so that you will be comfortable. Pack a snack to curb hunger during the test.

**Parents, if your child wants to discuss the test and the testing process, do so in terms of confidence.  Assure them that they have been preparing for the state test all year long and that they are ready and able to do well.  Remind your student to listen and follow test directions.  Encourage them to stay focused and remind them that the test is important. Let them know that some questions will be difficult but their job is to do their best. 

At testing timeTest Bright! Breathe. Relax and focus.

Listen closely to any and all instructions.

Read the directions. Use the learning strategies you were trained in and are skilled at. Stay focused.

Underline important words in the text as you read.  Circle or highlight key words or concepts.  Make short summary notes for each paragraph of reading.

Read each question carefully and more than once.  Be sure you understand the question before comparing answer choices. Focus on each question individually. 

Scan the multiple choice answers to get a sense of how to solve the problem or come to a conclusion.  Often the choice of answers will point you in the direction of how to solve the problem.  Eliminate wrong answers first and focus on the remaining choices.

When problem solving, ask yourself:

    • What am I being asked to find? Think about the vocabulary or each question. What is the question really asking for?
    • What do I need to know in order to find the answer?
    • What information has been provided that will help me to find the answer?
    • How can I break the problem down into parts? What steps should I follow to solve the problem?
    • Does the answer make sense? Does it answer the question that is being asked?

Build confidence by doing the easy questions first. Don’t be afraid to skip the difficult questions and come back to them later.  Make sure to mark your test booklet as a reminder to come back to complete the skipped question. 

Answer every question.

Use all the allotted time.  If you finish early, use this time to “retake” the test or check over your answers.  If you do want to change an answer, be sure to erase all prior markings completely.