Assessment is a daily part of the educational landscape, and students often express dismay that they “don’t test well.” Whether it is a classroom assessment or a high-stakes testing situation, there are some test-taking strategies that students can employ to help themselves on test day.
Six Printables for Your Test-Taking Strategies Toolkit
Whether administering a cumulative unit exam, paper-based state standardized tests or the newer Common Core assessments, help students to do their best. In the days and weeks leading into assessments (or to approach assessments all year long), use this collection of printable test-taking strategies to ensure your students are ready to show what they know when the clock starts.
Test-Taking Strategies Poster
One way to remind students of these test-taking tips is to hang them up on a classroom wall. I've created a simple Test-Taking Strategies Poster you can download for your own classroom! This poster can also be printed as a handout and passed out to students.
Basic Strategies for Answering Vocabulary & Reading Test Questions
The Basic Strategies for Answering Test Questionstip sheet and handout is the tool for students who are just learning how to tackle the different types of test questions. From multiple-choice to short answer and essay, these strategies will take students all the way through any standardized test. Particularly helpful are the specific tips for multiple choice, like thinking about theme as “idea + attitude” and focusing on the structure of a reading passage to help find the main idea.
Strategies for Answering English Language Arts Test Questions
We know the mistakes that students make when they take tests. We’ve watched them reread the entire passage to answer one small question, or spend 30 minutes on the first question, leaving them 15 minutes for the rest of the test. Address those concerns and others with these 7 Strategies for Answering ELA Test Questions.
Three Grammar Test-Taking Tips
The open response or essay is when students should bring their writing A-game. They’ll refine their writing with the 3 Grammar Test-Taking Tip Sheet. With this reference sheet students will review:
Subject -Verb Agreement in a prepositional phrase
Subject-Pronoun Agreement tense matching
Unclear Pronouns to clarify the meaning of the sentence
10 English Language Arts Test Terms To Know
Each assessment asks students to do so many different things—identify the word, analyze the quotation, determine the main idea. Help students understand what questions are asking of them with the list of 10 ELA Test Terms to Know. With this list, students can sort questions by skill—is the question asking them to compare and contrast, summarize, or infer?
10 High-Stakes Test Terms to Know Poster
A similar download you may find useful is Vocab Gal's 10 High-Stakes Test Terms to Know Poster. Vocab Gal suggests that teachers incorporate these terms into classroom activities and should clarify how best to answer each question stem while the stakes are low.
For example, a teacher could ask an introductory question such as
“Infer from the reading on page 3 how Jimmy felt about his friends.”
“Compare the reading we did for homework with the passage on the board.”
“Analyze how Martha came to make the decision she did.”
Help students remember how to answer open-ended responses with the ACE Open-Ended Responses Tip Sheet. This reference sheet will give your students an easy acronym for responding to open-ended questions!