Test-Taking Tips

PARENTS: please visit our Standardized Testing page to learn more.

General Tips

  • Don't miss school on testing days!
  • Get a good night's sleep and eat a good breakfast
  • Get to school on time — rested, relaxed and ready do your best :-)
  • Be prepared! Walk into the classroom with all the materials you'll need: #2 pencils, sweater/jacket, book to read after completing the test.
  • When you get the test, quickly glance over the entire test. This can help you develop a plan to help manage your time.
  • Ask questions while you have the chance. No question is a stupid question unless it goes unasked.
  • When you finish all parts of your test YOU ARE NOT DONE! Check over your answers throughout the entire test. Everyone makes a few careless mistakes the first time around.

Strategies That Work

True/False Questions

  • Statements with words like always, never, every, all, and none are usually false.
  • Statements with words like usually, often, sometimes, most, and many are usually true.

Multiple Choice Questions

  • Think of the answer BEFORE reading the answer choices.
  • Choose the BEST answer from the choices you're given. Doublecheck to make sure!
  • Guess smart! If you really don't know the answer and you need to guess, you can improve your chances of guessing correctly if you can cross out options you know are wrong.

Essay Questions

  • First, read through the prompt thoroughly. Then brainstorm and organize your points before you start writing.
  • When writing, pay attention to your grammar and write legibly.

NEVER Leave a Question Unanswered!

  • If you don't know an answer to a question, skip it and come back to it later. You might remember the answer later, or even find the answer somewhere else on the test!
  • If you skip an item, circle it in your test booklet so you'll remember to come back to it later.
  • Always answer EVERY question. If you guess, you might guess right — especially if you can eliminate one or two choices. If you leave it blank, it'll definitely be marked wrong.

For Language Arts Tests

  • Skim the questions before reading the passage so you'll know what to look out for.
  • Respond to what's being asked — read each question thoroughly to make sure you understand.
  • Read all of the answer choices before making a selection.
  • Choose the best possible answer among the choices. Doublecheck to make sure!
  • Read each passage carefully. Note the author's reasoning, tone, attitude, and style.
  • Look for cue words like "but," "however," and "therefore." They often signal major ideas of a passage.
  • Mark important facts, ideas, names, etc. on your scrap paper to refer to later.
  • If a passage is too difficult, skip it and return to it later.
  • In main idea questions, don't be deceived by statements that are true, but are secondary to the central point.
  • Rewrite difficult words or questions in terms that make more sense to you, but be careful not to change the meaning.

For Math Tests

  • Before the test, review the mathematical formulas you'll need for that test, so they're fresh in your mind.
  • Answer easy questions first; work through difficult items as time permits.
  • Make sure your answers are recorded correctly.
  • Use your critical thinking skills.
  • Underline and/or circle the task in each problem.
  • Use the scrap paper you're given to work out each problem. You can always ask for more.
  • There will never be more than one correct answer on standardized tests.
  • Watch out for distractors (unnecessary information) within a problem.
  • Use mathematical shortcuts:
     
    • Cancel / simplify fractions
    • Estimate
    • Remove decimal points when possible

This page last updated January 13, 2016