Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Every test has a just-right strategy

When I was young and took an SAT test, I didn't know that every test has optimal strategies for positive results. Later when I taught an SAT prep course, I learned a lot of those strategies. Had I known those strategies as a high school student, I'm sure that my SAT scores would have been better. With that in mind, I think we advantage our students when we share with them the optimal strategies for doing well on tests. To do that, we have to know the test, the test rules, and what has worked well for students in the past.

As students prepare for a number of tests, I know that these general rules of preparation work:
  • Get good rest, eat nutritious meals 
  • Use positive self talk, and do your best
As a teacher, I know it's important to follow the testing rules related to the tests you give. In general, once the tests begin, your only option is to deal with technical snafus and the questions you're allowed to answer, but in general you simply proctor the tests making sure that children are doing their work, following the test directions, and not interrupting or talking to classmates.

Prior to giving the tests though, we can give students the opportunity to take practice tests and we can remind students of the strategies that have led to success for students in the past. With this in mind, I made a couple of posters that I'll use to remind students of apt strategy to help them do their best. Let me know if you have anything to add to these strategy posters.