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5 ways to beat standardized test stress—Tip #1: Teach good test-taking strategies

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They might not know it, but many of your students are already using good test-taking strategies. So take a few minutes to brainstorm good strategies as a class, and then add a few of your own helpful tips to the list. Once you've got a pretty good list, discuss which strategies students will use as they’re taking tests. By the time testing week arrives, your students will have a whole arsenal of good test-taking strategies to help them do their best. Here are a few test-taking strategies to help you get started: Read all directions carefully. Read the question and all answer choices before marking your answer. If you’re not sure of an answer, eliminate any answers you know are wrong. Then, make your best guess. Don’t spend too much time on difficult questions—do your best, then move on. Come back to questions you haven’t answered at the end of the test. Before reading a long passage, read the questions you’ll be answering about the passage so you know what to look for as you read. If you finish early, use the last few minutes of test time to check your answers, correct mistakes, and check to make sure you have answered all the questions.

They might not know it, but many of your students are already using good test-taking strategies. So take a few minutes to brainstorm good strategies as a class, and then add a few of your own helpful tips to the list. Once you've got a pretty good list, discuss which strategies students will use as they’re taking tests. By the time testing week arrives, your students will have a whole arsenal of good test-taking strategies to help them do their best.

Here are a few test-taking strategies to help you get started:

  • Read all directions carefully.
  • Read the question and all answer choices before marking your answer.
  • If you’re not sure of an answer, eliminate any answers you know are wrong. Then, make your best guess.
  • Don’t spend too much time on difficult questions—do your best, then move on.
  • Come back to questions you haven’t answered at the end of the test.
  • Before reading a long passage, read the questions you’ll be answering about the passage so you know what to look for as you read.
  • If you finish early, use the last few minutes of test time to check your answers, correct mistakes, and check to make sure you have answered all the questions.

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