End of Year Testing Tips

Aiming for your child to maximize his or her ability to perform well on end of year standardized tests?  Be sure to talk with your child about any anxieties they may have, and use some of the following strategies to alleviate testing stress. Those state testing windows are quickly approaching, and the crunch is on to make sure students are ready.  The tips listed below can be used to help reduce fears or stress your child may feel when those end of year tests begin.

*Read and listen to all directions carefully.

*Guide students to divide the total number of test questions in half or by fourths.  They should do the same with the number of minutes allotted for the test.  At these intervals, they can check to make sure they are on schedule for completing all of the questions.

*Turn test booklet pages carefully so they don’t accidentally miss a page.

*Advise students to read and check all the answers.  Finding reasons why the other answers are wrong will help them feel more confident about the one(s) they chose.  This is even more important now that some FSA and EOC questions will have more than one correct answer.  If they do not find all of the correct or equivalent answers, they will miss the entire question.

* Answer any question that they know the answer to immediately.  Skip questions that are taking them too long to figure out.  They can come back to those problems at the end.

* If they don’t know the answer, explain how to eliminate wrong answers and to make educated guesses by using context clues and recognizing distractors.

*Read all the questions associated with a passage BEFORE actually reading the passage.  This helps students focus in on relevant points and information.

*Highlight/underline key words, phrases, ideas, make notes of line numbers, etc and go back to the text to find evidence to support answers.

*Utilize text features!

*Use graphic organizers.

*Jot down ideas in the margins.

*Show their work for math questions!! Not showing work leads to simple mistakes, and they cannot review their work if they do not write it down.

*Check for careless mistakes such as forgetting to use labels, misplacing decimal points, adding incorrectly, or missing a negative sign.

*Go back and check answers if time allows.  If a student finishes early, they should ALWAYS go back through their test questions to make sure they bubbled correctly and look for any mistakes.

*Check the answer key periodically to make sure answers line up with the questions.

*Get plenty of rest!

*Eat a healthy breakfast each morning and drink plenty of water.

We’ve all heard people say, “Oh, they’re just not a very good test taker.”  Anxiety can interfere with a student’s performance on tests.  You can help reduce your child’s anxiety and enhance their performance by taking care in how you help them prepare for exams:

*Give advice on HOW to study.  Help your child develop appropriate study strategies to organize their time efficiciently.

*AVOID cramming by spreading study time over several weeks.

*ENCOURAGE your child to do their best.

*Make sure your child ARRIVES to school ON TIME each morning.

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