2PIRATES STEP 1: Prepare to Succeed STEP 2: Inspect the Instructions STEP 3: Read, Remember, ReduceSTEP 4: Answer or AbandonSTEP 5: Turn BackSTEP 6: EstimateSTEP 7: Survey
3STEP 1: PREPARE TO SUCCEED Put your name and PIRATES on your testIt is very important to put your name on each page of your test – especially on a math test as well as the “working pages”.Write the word “PIRATES” at the top of your test also. This helps remind you to use the strategy throughout the test.
4STEP 1 CON’TAllot time and order sections: To do this you need to decide how much time to spend on each section of the test.For example: If the test has 5 sections and there are 50 minutes to complete it, you’d divide 50 minutes by the 5 sections = 10 minutes per section. However, some sections might be longer, etc.
5STEP 1 CON’TAllotting order: After you have allotted your time, you need to decide in which order you will complete the sections of the test.Begin with easy sections and save the hard ones last. Reasoning: Beginning with the easier ones will capture as many points as you can as soon as you can. This also builds up your confidence. Harder questions you tend to pause and you may run out of time.
6STEP 1 CON’TSaying Affirmations: Before you start your test you will say at least one positive statement to yourself. If you start working on a test with a negative thought, you get nervous, you forget possible answers, what the teacher has said in class, etc.Research has shown that if you think positive thoughts while on a task, you’ll do better.
7STEP 1 CON’TStart within 2 minutes. You need to do all these things in Step 1 within 2 minutes.PASS – use this mnemonic device to remember STEP 1:Put your name on paperAllot timeSay AffirmationsStart within 2 minutes
8STEP 2: INSPECT THE INSTRUCTIONS Read ALL instructions THOROUGHLY throughout the test.Underline what you are to do.Notice special requirementsMnemonic device: RUN
9STEP 3: READ, REMEMBER, REDUCE READ the whole question – read the whole question from first to last word. Sometimes the word at the end changes what you are to do – or in the middle – or in the beginning.READ ALL the answers in multiple choice questions – this helps choosing the best possible answer, etc.
10STEP 3: REMEMBERAFTER you have read the question and BEFORE you have answered, you need to REMEMBER what you have read, what the teacher has talked about….Try to remember what things you’ve studied, try to visualize the class lecture, etc.
11STEP 3: REDUCEAfter you’ve remembered the information, you need to reduce the choices as you read them. Cross them off so you’ll be reminded that you don’t have to worry about them and then concentrate on other choices.
12STEP 4: ANSWER OR ABANDON ANSWER the question: If you’re certain about an answer, mark it correctly as instructed. Answer the question ONLY if you’re sure of the answer.ABANDONING a question: If you don’t know the answer, abandon the question for the moment. Leave it behind – but you will need to mark it using a dot/star/check, etc.
13STEP 5: TURN BACKWhen you get to the end of the test, you need to go back to all the abandoned questions and answer them.You may have remembered the answers by the end of the test or even seen the answers somewhere else throughout the test.
14STEP 6: ESTIMATEYou should never guess or estimate when you KNOW the answer. You should only guess/estimate ONLY after you have tried every technique you know for remembering an answer. Guess ONLY as a last resort.
15STEP 6 CON’T THREE WAYS OF GUESSING: 1. Avoid Absolute Words: All, Always, Every, Only, No, None, Never (these are usually in True/False questions). Choose Non-absolute Words: Few, many, some, seldom, often, usually, sometimes, most2. Choose the longest/most detailed answer3. Eliminate similar choices
16STEP 7: SURVEYOnce you’ve answered all the abandoned questions using information and applying your strategies, you need to look over your test and make sure you have answered ALL questions.ONLY change your answer if you find you marked it wrong and completely sure another answer is better. Usually your 1st choice is the correct one. If you’re not sure, don’t change it.
17PIRATESResearch has shown consistently that students who have utilized this strategy receive 10 percentage points higher on their test scores.This strategy helps their percentage grade, but if they don’t study for a test, it won’t necessarily help them get a better letter grade.
18PIRATES PRACTICE using Controlled Practice Tests PRACTICE using Maintenance TestsPRACTICE modeling strategy daily/weeklyIf you don’t use it – you lose it!!!