Test-taking Strategies to Help Make A.Y.P.

This was a presentation of tips for test-taking. None of it was really new, but many people seemed quite interested in hearing of these ideas as well as contributing their own. They were a good reminder of things kids should know about standardized tests beyond just the information. We all know those tests can be tricky (and at times poorly written) and kids do need a complete arsenal of tips and tricks as well as information. The presenters were enthusiastic and did a nice job.

Some examples of the strategies mentioned are:

  • Watch for NOT questions in multiple choice questions.
  • Don’t choose MC answers you don’t recognize
  • Watch out for longer, more detailed answers – they may hold a trick. They could also be the right answer.
  • For True-False questions, watch for absolute words like “always” and “never.” These will probably not be true.
  • There are usually more true answers than false, so if you have to guess, guess true.
  • If part of the answer is false, the whole thing is false.
  • For matching, do the questions you know for sure first. That will make the ones you don’t know easier to pick.
  • For fill in answers, make sure the answer fits gramatically, and don’t try to fit a long answer in a tiny space.
  • Go with your first guess unless you are positive it is wrong.

There were some other suggestions, but these are the highlights, I think. I know that some people disagree with teaching strategies like these, feeling that if the students are taught the standards adequately, strategies won’t be necessary. That may be, but understanding what one is facing can’t hurt. I’d teach the standards AND the strategies .


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