7 Test-Taking Skills
To Teach Your Child
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch
There are specific skills and strategies involved in taking tests that can help your child do his best.
- Always listen to and read the directions carefully; don’t assume that you already know them. Sometimes they change only slightly, but significantly, from one section to the next.
- Ask the instructor to explain any directions that you do not understand.
- Be sure you know how and where to mark the answers, especially if they are on a separate sheet. Keep checking to make sure you are marking the numbered answer space that matches the numbered question and for the correct test section (e.g., spelling, math computations).
- Mark answers carefully and neatly, filling in the blanks completely so that it will be graded correctly.
- Erase a wrong answer thoroughly when changing your answer.
- Watch out for wording such as “Which of the following is not true?” or for answers that sound or look similar.
- On a true or false question, watch for the words “never,” “always,” “only,” and “best.”
- Relax by taking several slow, deep breaths and changing your position from time to time.
- Remember that you know a lot of information and that you are doing your best to show what you know.
- Ask the Lord to help you remember what you learned and do your best.
- Since most tests are timed, don’t get bogged down on a question that you can’t answer or are unsure about.
- Answer the items you are sure of first. This builds confidence, and you won’t miss points on easy questions by running out of time.
- Skip difficult questions and place an “x’ by the number of the question in the margin on the answer sheet.
- If you are not sure of a question, answer the best you can and mark them with a “?” in the margin.
- When you have answered all the other questions, answer the questions with an “x” in the margin and recheck questions you marked with a “?”.
5. Choosing Answers
- If you need to, look back at the reading selection to check facts and ideas.
- Try each answer in the blank to help you decide which one sounds right.
- Sometimes on questions where you are to find mistakes, none are to be found.
- On some questions, two answers can be correct and you must choose the answer that includes them both.
- When you are not sure, eliminate answers you know are incorrect and take your best guess among the rest. Some of your guesses will be right.
- On arithmetic test items, do a quick estimate with rounded-off numbers. This will help you avoid “silly” mistakes and may even help you locate the only possible answer.
- When you copy a math problem onto scratch paper, line up the numbers carefully and double check your copying.
- Always check subtraction problems by reversing operations.
- If you have time, check equations by substituting your solution for the unknown and check other math problems by reversing operations.
- Use all the time allotted for the test; review your test if you finish early.
- Recheck the directions, questions, and your answers.
- Do not change answers unless they are obviously wrong.
- Don’t panic when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for being the first.
Copyright 2008 by www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted by permission
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