Test Taking Strategies

Taking a test can make anyone feel Yell, but here are some strategies that can help to make test taking a less stressful time. 


Test Taking Tips:

Multiple Choice
· Read the directions carefully
· Know if each question has one or more correct option
· Know if you are penalized for guessing
· Answer easy questions first
· Eliminate options you know to be incorrect
· “All of the above:” If you know two of three options seem correct, “all of the above” is a strong possibility
· “Look alike options” probably one is correct; choose the best but eliminate choices that mean basically the same thing, and thus cancel each other out.
· Echo options: If two options are opposite each other, chances are one of them is correct
· Don’t change your answers unless you are sure of the correction
· Use hints from questions you know to answer questions you don’t know
· When reviewing the test, make sure answers are properly marked

Short Answer Test
· Prepare for the test by studying summary sheets or outlines & try to categorize the material
· Use grammatical clues within a statement as hints for the correct answer
· A guess made with common sense could get you more test points than if you leave an answer blank
· Write your short answers in simple sentences

True/False Tests
· Every part of a true sentence must be “true”. If any one part of the sentence is false, the whole sentence is false despite many other true statements.

· Pay close attention to negatives, qualifiers, absolutes, and long strings of statements
· Negatives can be confusing. If the question contains negatives, as “no, not, cannot” drop the negative and read what remains. Decide whether that sentence is true of false. If it is true, it’s opposite, or negative, is usually false.
· Qualifiers are words that restrict or open up general statements. Words like “sometimes, often, frequently, ordinarily, generally” open up the possibilities of making accurate statements. They make more modest claims, are more likely to reflect reality, and usually indicate “true” answers.
· Absolute words restrict possibilities. “No, never, none, always, every, entirely, only” imply the statement must be true 100% of the time and usually indicate “false” answers.
· Long sentences often include groups of words set off by punctuation. Pay attention to the “truth” of each of these phrases. If one is false, it usually indicates a “false” answer.
· It is usually better to guess than to leave an answer blank. After all you have a 50% chance of being right.

· Read the directions carefully
· Notice whether one column is longer than the other. If so, some answers may not get used. Others may be used twice.
· Match the easiest items first, then the remaining ones may be less confusing

· Make an outline before answering the question
· Ask if spelling and grammar will be graded
· Write neatly
· If time is running out, include an outline or brief answer



Test Anxiety?
· Go to bed early
· Eat healthy meals
· Wear a favorite outfit - this can make the child feel confident & comfortable
· Learn to relax
· Be positive & think positive thoughts
· Face fears - help reassure your child that it will be ok & to do their best
· Be sure to communicate with your child after the test



SOL Resources

Virginia Department of Education - Released Tests

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