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How to prepare for different testing styles
When taking any test, it is critical to read and understand all information before answering any questions. Taking the test
Key Words & Phrases All directions have key words or phrases that tell you exactly what to do. Pay attention to these key words – they will help you understand the directions and let you know what to do; they also help you eliminate incorrect choices and are important to identify in the question before you try to answer it.
Decide if you need to find the best answer or the correct answer
There is a key difference – the best answer means that there may be more than one answer that could be correct, but one answer may be better than the others (look at key words in the question). When they ask you for the correct answer, only one answer will be correct.
Attempt to Answer Try to answer multiple choice questions before looking at the choices. If the answer you thought of on your own is one of the choices, it’s probably correct!
Context Clues Context clues are other words in a sentence that tell you about the word you do not know. You can use these to help you figure out the meaning of unknown words.
5 types of context clues Synonym A myth is a story you don’t believe.
Definition or Description Maria and Sue are inseparable and will never be parted. Association Li is always on time. She double checks her work and can always be counted on in an emergency. Li is a responsible worker. Tone and Setting The sun was intense. The bright, blue sky was clear and the lake shimmered. The scene remains vivid in my mind. Cause and Effect The suitcase was so small, I had to compress my shirts to fit all of them inside.
Prefix and Suffix Meanings
There is a reason why your English teachers cover this! Knowing the meanings of common prefixes and suffixes can help you perform better on definition tests. If you are unsure of a word, look to see if there is a prefix or a suffix for a clue.
Word Clues If the definition is given as an incomplete sentence, look at the word right before the blank. If the word is “a,” you’re probably looking for a word that begins with a consonant. If the word is “an,” you’re probably looking for a word that begins with a vowel.
Subject or Verb? If the definition is given as an incomplete sentence, check the part of speech that is missing. Every sentence must have a subject (something doing the action) and a verb (action). Also, your subject and verb must agree (single or plural).
DISTRACTORS!! A distractor is an incorrect choice.
Many times they do not have anything to do with the question. They may contain words such as: all, none, never, or always. Typically answer choices that contain these words are not correct.
Reading Passages Read the questions first, before reading the passage.
As you read, circle or underline the names of all people, places, times, dates and numbers. Try to answer the questions before looking at the answer choices. If you don’t know the answer, look at the choices and try to eliminate some of them. Look at the passage again and try to decide which answer to choose. You can skip questions and come back to them, sometimes another question will give you the answer to a previous question.
Main Idea The main idea is the most important idea in anything you read. If a word or phrase isn’t used in a reading passage, or if it is only used once, it’s probably not the main idea. Look for key words that are repeated often – those typically are also in the main idea.
Preparing for a test
A few days before the test
Prepare and study starting a few days before the test – Not the night before (or morning of)! Good studying strategies: Take notes in class and review them Make up questions that might be on the test and answer them Study in groups of 2-5, ask each other questions about the material and go over key facts Go through your book and make a list of important words and terms Try to put information in your own words to memorize
The Night Before a test Eat a good dinner.
Go over your notes to see if anything is missing. Go to bed at a reasonable time. Make sure you have everything you need (pencils, a good eraser) in your backpack ready to go.
While taking the test Start the test by answering questions you know first, Save the questions you don’t know until last. You can always ask the teacher questions – ask if you need clarification on directions, don’t ask them for the answer. If it looks hard, start with what you know. Try to eliminate wrong answers before guessing. But it is better to guess and have a chance at getting it right than to leave it blank and know you got it wrong. Don’t look at the clock, it will only make you nervous. Turn in the test only when you have carefully answered all questions.
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