Test Taking Strategies for Elementary School Students
General Test Taking Strategies
Most of the time the teacher or parent is not allowed to help you. Make sure you listen to the directions very carefully.
Most of the time the teacher or parent is only allowed to read the question one time. Listen very carefully for clues to help you answer each question.
Read and think about all of the choices before choosing the answer you think is right. Get rid of the answers that you know are wrong then choose the answer that you think best answers the question. Then mark your answer on your test page.
Remember that most tests have time limits so work as quickly as you can, but do not rush through your work. Rushing and shortcuts usually end up in making mistakes.
Sometimes the test is in a booklet and you need to mark your answers on another sheet of paper. Always double check to make sure that you are marking your answer with the right question.
It is very important to understand the symbols that are often used in test directions. Let's review the most common words and symbols.
This means you must stop here. Do not turn the page. If you have time left double check your answers.
This means that you should turn the page and continue on with the test.
_______ This means that you should fill in the blank. Sometimes you can write in the blank, but other times you must choose a word and then fill in the correct answer on your answer sheet.
Bold type This means that the word or phrase is very important and you need to pay special attention to this word.
Italics Words that are written on a slant, like this example, are also very important words that may be clues to help you answer the question. Pay close attention to these words.
Underlined Words that are underlined are also very important. Pay close attention to any words or phrases that have lines under them.
This is a check box. You may need to shade or fill in the right check box. Some times the check box may be an oval or a circle.
They may look like this , or like this .
Shaded This means that the teacher or parent wants you to shade in the box, circle or oval of the answer that you think is correct.
Example Sometimes the teacher or parent will do a sample question with you to make sure that you understand the directions.
Passage A passage is a short paragraph that you read and then answer questions about.
Exercise This means the test questions.
Kitten : Cat :: Puppy : Dog This is a relation type question. It should be read as "kitten is to cat as puppy is to dog". Usually the teacher or parent will leave one of the words blank and you will have to choose the right answer. For example, mother : girl :: father : _____
Do you know the answer? Let's read it together. It says, "mother is to girl as father is to _?_". Have you got the answer yet? You are right! The answer is boy.
True or T This means you are supposed to write "True", or "T" if you think the statement is correct.
False or F This means you are supposed to write "False", or "F" if you think the statement is wrong.
Remember your math symbols. They are used in Math and Science tests.
+ This means to add together. 3+4=7
- This means to subtract or take away from. 7-3=4
X, or * This means to multiply. 3x4=12
¸, /, or ____ This means to divide. 12¸4=3
= This means equal to. 3=3
< This means less than. 5<6
£ This means less than or equal to. 4.5£5
> This means greater than. 7>5
³ This means greater than or equal to. 9³8.5
Test Tip #7
Numeral a number
Meaning a definition of a word
Symbol a picture that means something
Eliminate get rid of an answer that is not correct
Decide to choose, or make up your mind
Answer to respond to the question
Timed a certain amount of time is allowed to complete the test
Correct the right answer
Pick to choose
Sum to add
Booklet a bound or stapled group of papers
Phrase a group of words
Italics words that written on a slant
Erase to wipe out completely
Best the most correct
Column a series that goes up and down the page
Row a series that goes across the page
Items a test question
Exercise all of the test questions
Clue a hint
Fit put into place
Read the directions very carefully. Every word counts. Do not think you know what the directions are asking for. Make sure you know exactly what the directions are asking for. Follow the directions exactly and do everything the directions ask you to do.
The directions tell you what to do. The example or sample item shows you what to do. If you do not know what to do, look at example or sample item.
To be successful when writing a test you should do three things:
1. Think of the test as a fun and exciting challenge, like climbing a mountain or painting a great picture.
2. Organize your thoughts and plan how you are going to answer your questions, like planning a holiday or reading a road map.
3. Never quit. Don't give up too soon. Leave the most difficult questions for a little while, but always remember to come and answer them.
Multiple Choice Tests
When writing multiple choice tests, get rid of the choices that seem silly, or the ones that you know are wrong. Then use the information in the test item to choose the BEST answer. Don't just guess. Take your time and read the question very carefully. Look for clues to help you decide which choice is the best answer. The information that you need to answer the question is provided. Be the detective and figure it out.
Look at all the questions first. The questions will helps you know what to look for as you read through the passages or look at the diagrams.
To avoid be confused on multiple choice tests try to do the following.
1. Do not look at the answer choices until you understand the question
2. Then look at the answer choices. Find the one that is the closest to what you had thought would be the correct answer.
3. Circle or fill in your choice.
Test tip #14
Test tip #15
Think of yourself as a detective finding many clues in the exam. Clues can be found in the questions, the answer choices, and in the passages. Remember to read carefully and that every word counts.
On timed tests wok as quickly as you can without rushing. Rushing leads to careless mistakes and poorer test results.
Students who do well on timed tests do three things:
1. They look over the whole test before they begin. This helps to organize their thoughts and plan how to do the test. First the students read the titles, then they skim through the passages and diagrams, then they read the questions and quickly look over the answer choices.
2. They do not waste too much time on any one question. If they have trouble they leave the question and will come back and answer it later. If they come to a word they do not know they just keep reading. Sometimes the meaning of a word can be found in the rest of the sentence.
3. They work as quickly and as carefully as they can trying hard not to make any mistakes.
Watch for KEY WORDS. When you find a key word read slowly and carefully. The right answer is usually very close.
You must know the Math definitions of words in order to answer the questions correctly. For example: Area could mean the place where the children play, or it could mean the length times the width of rectangle. Review Test tips #6 and #7 for symbols and definitions.
Sometimes math problems look difficult. Do not give up. Work out each answer choice to find the one that is correct. For example:
(9-6) x ? =6
1) 3 3) 2 Try 3 (9-6) x 3 = 9 doesn't work
2) 6 4) 4 Try 6 (9-6) x 6 = 18 doesn't work
Try 2 (9-6) x 2 = 6 It works! So this must be the right answer!
Create a diagram to help show what is happening. Math diagrams should be kept simple and you do not have to be an artist to draw a good math diagram.
In order to understand Math Problems, you need to understand what the words are telling you to do (=, -, x, ¸). Good Math students do the following:
1. Read the whole question slowly and carefully.
2. Draw a diagram that shows what is happening.
3. Find the clue words that tell you what to do
4. Find important number facts that will help you solve the problem
5. Find the extra information that is NOT important for solving the problem and cross it out.
Always read the question one last time before you choose your answer. Make sure that you have done all the steps.
Preview all graphs and charts before you begin. To preview a graph or
Chart look for the words at the bottom and on the sides that tell you what the graph or chart is about. Then read the title and look at the key so that you know what the symbols mean. Then you are ready to answer the questions about the graph.
Language Arts Tests
Capitals are important! Review your Capitalization rules.
Punctuation rules are very important. Review your Punctuation rules.
Spelling is also very important. Review your basic spelling rules. Read the directions very carefully. Sometimes the teacher or parent may ask you to find the words that are not spelled correctly, and sometimes they may wish for you to write or print the words correctly. Make sure that you understand the directions.
Remember that the process of elimination works for Language Arts Tests. Get rid of every answer that is wrong and choose between the ones that you think might be right.
Good grammar is key to a good Language Arts test mark. Review your basic grammar rules.
Test Tip #31
Remember to use correct spelling and grammar when writing an essay type test. Also remember to place Capitals and punctuation marks where they belong. Do not for get to indent the first sentence of every paragraph. Double check to make sure that you have written in complete sentences.
Source: Rock Hill School District, South Carolina