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Preparing Your Child for Standardized Testing: 7 Tips Your Child Will Need on Test Day

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

End of year testing is right around the proverbial corner, and some elementary school students are soon going to be facing the world of standardized testing for the first time in their young lives. As an elementary school principal, I work all year to ensure that students have the skills they need to be successful in the next school year as well as in life. There's no need to kill and drill for at end of year test or to cram at the end. Top schools know that when the curriculum is properly aligned and teachers have been working to ensure student success, there's no need to make the students overly anxious about testing.

Having said that, it pays to teach children a few simple testing strategies when taking a standardized reading test. Please encourage your child to do his or her best, and to use the testing strategies he or she has being using in class. Here are some tips that students can use on multiple-choice practice tests:

1. At a glance, identify the genre or type of selection. The North Carolina End of Grade test, or EOG, is currently made up of 8 selections including fiction (e.g., a story), literary non-fiction (e.g., biography), poetry, content (e.g., a science text), and consumer (e.g., instruction manual).

2. Read and underline the title. Believe it or not, some questions can be answered just by reading the title. Students should keep the title in mind when answering "main idea" questions

3. Look for text features. Is there an illustration or a diagram? Text features can be very important to helping students understand foreign vocabulary.

4. Read all questions and identify key words. This should be done before even reading the selection, because it gives the reader an advanced look at what they are expected to get from the selection. Students should be trained not to look at the answer choices when reading the passages because they might give the student misinformation about the passage and could waste time

5. Read the selection. By now the reader has an good idea about what the selection is about is what will be expected in the question section.

6. Use process of elimination to get rid of silly or unlikely answers. Two answer choices will likely be silly. When the student has narrowed down the choices to two reasonable ones, the worst thing he or she could do is simply choose the first one that makes sense. Instead students should work to choose to best answer among the two.

7. Underline the part of the selection where the answer came from and write the question number in the selection. Why go through this trouble? It slows students down and forces them to take the time to thoroughly read and find the answer. A student who doesn't do this will likely carelessly mark an answer choice without looking back at the selection.

Students should remember that going through the correct process is just as important as getting the right answer.

Jane Thursday is a freelance writer, a mother of two young children, and an elementary school principal. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership, a master's degree in school administration, and 6-12 English Language Arts teaching licensure. She has studied public education in the United States, South Africa, the Philippines, and England.

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