October is almost here. I canâ€™t believe how time flies when you’re having fun. Today we’re going to talk about teaching our students how to take tests. Whether we like them or not, tests and quizzes are how most students are graded in school. Helping our students pass tests will result in higher grades and happier students (and parents).
Test taking strategies
Prepare preparation is key. As a tutor, one of your most important jobs is to figure out how the teacher will be testing. Teachers are different in how they test. Many times as you’re tutoring your students you’ll get some clues as to how they will test some are harder than others.
One thing we do is to try to get some information from previous students about how the teacher tests. We ask all of our students, if possible to bring in copies of their graded tests. That will help us to prepare for the students next test, but will also help us create a database for future students.
You should have found out early in the tutor cycle how your student learns, then focus on helping them learn the material.
Anxiety unfortunately no matter how much you prepare, some students will get very nervous when they’re taking a test. My daughter is one of them. No matter how much that she prepares, when she sits down to take the test she forgets things that she knew. We’ve worked on some techniques and one of the best that we’ve found is to be well prepared and then do breathing exercises before and during the test.
We also have a pretest routine that we’ve done since she was in grade school it seems to help too. A normal breakfast for her consisted of cereal, or oatmeal, or just a big bowl of fruit, on test days she ate some eggs, toast and fruit. I don’t know how the tradition started, but it continues even now and she’s in college.
Some additional tips about test anxiety can be found here.
Find out everything you can about whatâ€™s going to be on the test and then create some sample tests for your students. You need to know the number and type of questions theyâ€™ll be having on the test.
When the test is over, make sure you go over with the student what they missed on the question. Not only the content, but also the type of question to. If they missed a number of the same type, then youâ€™ll want to make sure that focus on teaching them how to answer those types of questions.
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