• Girl  taking testTest Strategies

    Basic Test-Taking Strategies

    • Read all of the directions carefully.  Ask if you do not understand them. 

    • Underline or circle key words in the directions, especially numbers and the direction terms such as "compare" and "describe."

    • Scan the entire text before answering any questions.  This will help the student to budget his/her time.

    • Watch the time as you work.  Don't spend too much time on any one question.  You can always come back to it and there might be a clue in another question that will help.

    • Don't automatically choose the first answer you think is correct.  Read all choices carefully.

    • If you skip a question, circle the question number or put a check next to it so you remember to go back to it before turning in your test.

    Multiple-Choice Strategies

    • Read the question or statement and try to answer or complete it before looking at the answer choices.

    • Read each choice carefully and look for one similar to the one you thought of.  If there is not a similar choice use the process of elimination.  Cross out choices that are obviously wrong.

    • Pay close attention to words in the question or statement that are written in bold or italicized.  Look for the words "not," "do not," "true," "first," and "last."

    • After narrowing the choices, reread the question to see which remaining choice makes the most sense.

    • If  you are still unsure, skip the question and look for clues in the rest of the test.

    Extended Response Strategies

    • Make sure you understand the direction terms (what it means to "prove," "explain," "compare" etc..)

    • Underline or highlight important words in the question.

    • Plan your written response in a chart, graphic organizer or bulleted list.

    • Restate the question at the beginning of your answer.

    • Provide adequate details.

    • Use transitional words appropriately ("first," "next," "another example," "however")

    • Reread the question and your response to make sure you have fully addressed all parts of the question.