Test Taking Tips for Students: 4 Keys to Success
by Steve Reifman, Monthly Columnist
As standardized testing season begins each spring, we can perform a major service for our students by sharing the following four keys to success. Taken together, these tips comprise an effective mental approach to test-taking that values strong focus, thoroughness, and carefulness. Children need to understand that how they go about completing the test questions has a tremendous effect on their scores.
In my 19 years as a classroom teacher, I have seen many students who possess an impressive level of skill in all academic areas earn disappointing scores on standardized tests because they rushed through, accidentally left questions blank, and did not go back and check their work once they finished the final page of the testing booklet. On the other hand, I have seen children who had difficulty producing grade level work throughout the year earn a high score on the test because they worked with such a high degree of focus. To reinforce my point about the importance of adopting a methodical approach to test-taking, I tell my students that in many ways it is more accurate to refer to our state exam as the “California Carefulness Test” rather than the “California Math Test” or “California Language Arts Test.”
Review these tips with your students in the days and weeks leading up to your state’s standardized testing, and you will notice a significant improvement in the way your students approach the test-taking experience.
Keys to Success
• Relax and feel confident.
• Treat every question as the most important one.
• Pay incredible attention to detail.
• Check your work carefully at the end.
Let’s analyze each of these tips individually.
About the Author
Steve Reifman is a National Board Certified elementary school teacher, author, and speaker in Santa Monica, CA. He has written several books for educators and parents, including Changing Kids’ Lives One Quote at a Time andEight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8. Steve is also the creator of the Chase Manning Mystery Series for kids 8-12. Each book in the series features a single-day, real-time thriller that occurs on an elementary school campus. For weekly Teaching Tips, blog posts, and other valuable resources and strategies on teaching the whole child, visit stevereifman.com. You can also follow Steve on Twitter.