Presentation on theme: "Improving Test Taking Strategies. Test Taking Skills Most students have NEVER been taught test taking strategies. Studies show that as many as 20."— Presentation transcript:
Test Taking Skills Most students have NEVER been taught test taking strategies. Studies show that as many as 20 points can be gained simply by using good test taking strategies. Students must have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter, common sense, and good test taking skills.
Hint..... Learning test taking strategies can make students better test takers AND.... Make teachers better test writers and better teachers!
Test Taking Skills We recognize that tests do not always measure what you learn and that some tests are poorly created. Testwiseness – knowing how to demonstrate your full potential and the knowledge that you have learned. Credit: Learning to Learn: Strengthening Study Skills & Brain Power (Gloria Frender)
Preparation Before the Test Study the teacher for clues as to what they consider important. Voice Gestures Materials, handouts, Time spent on concepts (repetition) Ask the teacher for information about the format of the test, types of questions, material that will be covered, etc.
Preparation Before the Test Ask questions about the material you are unclear on. Divide the material into what you know well, what you need to review, and what is unfamiliar. Use study aides such as flash cards, mnemonics, outlines, etc. Make up your own test questions.
Preparation Before the Test Form study groups. Quickly review the material just before going to sleep – your subconscious will continue to “rehearse” the information. Get a full night’s sleep before the test. Be organized.
Intelligent Guessing Strategies Guessing strategies should be used ONLY as a last resort if your recall fails or if you are totally unfamiliar with the material. Don’t read too much into the question. Don’t go against your first impulse unless you absolutely know it is wrong.
Intelligent Guessing Strategies When you don’t know the right answer, start eliminating the wrong ones. “All of the Above” is usually right. Always choose an answer and then “flag it” so you can come back to it. Use extra time to recheck flagged questions. It is usually better to guess than to leave questions unanswered.
Intelligent Guessing Strategies Most general statement is usually true. Absolute statements are usually false. Unfamiliar words and phrases are usually false. Humorous choices are usually false. The most complete statements are usually true. “All of the Above” is usually true.
Intelligent Guessing Strategies If choices range in value, eliminate the two extremes. Statements that contain reasons or qualifying answers are usually false. The longest choice is usually true. If two choices are opposite, choose one of them If two choices are nearly the same, choose neither one.
Intelligent Guessing Strategies A closer look at negatives.... Negatives are words that change the meaning to the opposite Sometimes it is helpful to circle the negative words and prefixes in questions and answers. Then re-read and answer.
Cramming Use it as a last resort Your recall of information is limited to 1-2 days. The general scope and understanding of the subject is limited.
How to Cram if You Must Pay attention to handouts, definitions, lists, italicized words, dates, formulas, and names. Make study sheets, mind maps, or other graphic organizers. Using mnemonic devices whenever possible. Use intelligent guessing strategies.
Specific Test Strategies Multiple Choice Tests True/False Tests Matching Tests Fill-in-the-Blank Tests Number Tests Essay Tests Open Book Tests Take Home Tests
Multiple Choice Tests Test type most often given by teachers. Asked to recognize related information. Read all of the choices before making a decision. Eliminate obviously wrong answers. Your first response is usually correct.
True/False Tests This test type is the most difficult to take. Asked to recognize specific facts and details. There are usually more true answers than false answers because they are easier to write. If you must guess, answer true – odds are better. Do not analyze each question for deeper meaning. All parts of a true/false question must be true before the answer is true.
Matching Tests Asked to recognize specific facts and details. Read both columns before starting (read the longest column first) Choose the longest column and work down that one first. This column has more clues and more information. Cross off answers as you go. Do the easiest matches first. Match tough ones last through the process of elimination.
Fill-in-the-Blank Tests Asked to provide specific facts and details. Read the question carefully and look for clue words (especially just before the blanks) = vowel/consonant, singular/plural words Sometimes the teacher uses sentences taken from the text. If you can’t think of the exact word, write a synonym or definition for that word or phrase. Partial credit is better than none.
Number Tests Asked to provide reasons, proof, and specific answers. Write clearly – be sure each number is recognizable. Keep numbers in proper columns or spaces provided. Estimate the answer first For multiple-choice questions, work the problem before looking at the answers. Be sure to convert measurement units properly.
Number Tests Check your arithmetic – even the simplest addition and subtraction steps. Most wrong answers are due to simple arithmetic errors. If you get stuck, illustrate the problem by drawing a picture, diagram, or graph. Make an educated guess when all else fails. Eliminate unusual fractions and measurements. Eliminate the highest and lowest answers in multiple-choice questions.
Essay Tests Anticipate test questions before the test. Construct a brief outline – map out answers. Read all of the questions before you begin writing. Circle important words concerning what and how to write the answer.
Essay Tests Three main ingredients of an essay: Knowledge of the subject Organization of ideas Writing skills Always organize your essay by making an outline. Get involved with your answer – express your emotion. Check your work – content, organization, mechanics.
Essay Tests Be concise – don’t ramble. Be certain to answer the question. If in doubt, let your answer be more general than specific.
Open Book Tests Know your textbook. Make a study guide in advance. Lists of vocabulary words, graphic organizers of major concepts, concept index with page numbers from notes & text. Anticipate test questions. Give yourself plenty of time.
Take Home Tests Read the entire test – ask any questions before you leave class. Plan and organize your answers. Refer to specific test strategies. Proofread for spelling, punctuation, content, grammar, organization, and clarity. Staple all pages together. Be sure your name is on every page.
You Can Expect Success If you learn the subject matter, have some common sense, and learn test taking skills, you can relax and expect success when taking a test!