More Test Prep Tips From Teachers in the Trenches
Advice from secondary-school teachers who know how to help their students succeed
Every time you share a tip that will help students on a standardized test, tell them how it will help. I have been in the middle of discussion about something totally unrelated to standardized testing and have stopped to say, "This will help you when you are taking the state graduation exam." Letting students know that what you are sharing has a purpose sometimes helps them to stay more focused and see a lesson as having an important effect on their lives.
–Martha Ray, Southern Wells Junior/Senior High School, Poneto, Indiana
Share scores individually with students so they have a goal for the test. I explain the different levels of scoring to my class in student-friendly terms and then I share their scores with them, and what they need to do to advance to the next level.
–Kechia Williams, E.L. Wright Middle School, Columbia, South Carolina
Two weeks before the test, we perform a short practice test. This is a test I've written that is similar to the real thing but half the length. After performing each section, we review it in class discussing, the questions and answers. My students also keep a journal for daily writing activities. Over the years, I have collected the released test items and incorporated similar prompts in the daily writing. I also include literary terms like "foreshadow" and "character trait," which may appear on the test.
–Cate Sanazaro, Cuba Middle School, Cuba, Missouri