Elementary school students everywhere are gearing up for state tests. These tests can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know how to take them properly. In this blog post, I will teach your kids some test taking strategies that will help them ace these exams! I will cover how to answer multiple-choice questions, read the passage, and eliminate answer choices. Follow these tips and your students will be ready to tackle any test!
Test Taking Strategies Tip #1- Determine What the Question is Asking
The first step to taking any test is understanding what the question is asking. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many students answer questions without actually knowing what they are being asked. Before your child can begin to look for the answer in the passage, they need to take a minute to figure out exactly what the question is asking. This will help them focus their search and save time in the long run.
Test Taking Strategies Tip #2 – Ask Yourself What Can Be Eliminated
Once your child has determined what the question is asking, it’s time to start looking for the answer in the passage. Oftentimes, students will read through the entire passage only to find that they are unsure of the answer. If this happens, tell your child to go back and reread the section around the answer choices. More times than not, there will be a clue in the text that will help them eliminate one or more of the answer choices.
For example, if an answer choice says “never,” and the passage mentions the event happening multiple times, you can be sure that “never” is not the correct answer. Using the process of elimination like this will help your child narrow down their choices and come to the correct answer.
Test Taking Strategies Tip #3- Go Back and Prove Your Answer
After your child has eliminated some of the answer choices, it’s time to take a closer look at the remaining options. The best way to do this is to go back to the passage and find evidence that supports the answer choice. This proof can be in the form of specific details or quotes from the text. Your child should underline or highlight this evidence as they find it so that they can easily refer back to it later. By going back and finding proof for their answer, your child can be sure that they are selecting the correct choice.
Test Taking Strategies Tip #4 – Ask Yourself Does it Make Sense
Even if your child has found evidence in the passage to support their answer, it’s important to make sure that the answer choice makes sense in the context of the question. Sometimes students will choose an answer because it contains a detail from the passage, but that detail doesn’t actually answer the question.
For example, a question might ask “Why did the author include this detail in the passage?” and an answer choice might say “to provide evidence.” Even though this answer choice contains a detail from the passage, it doesn’t actually answer the question, so it can’t be correct. Asking yourself if the answer choice makes sense is a great way to check and make sure that you are on the right track.
This is my favorite test taking strategies anchor chart that I used to help kids attack a question. It was really helpful and it had movement with it. So every time I asked them did you DABB the question they would get to move around.
By following these simple test taking strategies, your child will be able to ace any elementary school test! These tips will help them understand the questions, find evidence in the text, and eliminate wrong answers. With a little practice, your child will be a pro at taking tests in no time!
Do you need any help with test prep? I have some great reading review test prep “Jeopardy- Like” games that have multiple choice questions that you can use to practice these strategies with. Click on the picture below to check them out.