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Winning Strategies for Test Taking. Linda Denstaedt - [email protected] Judy Cova Kelly - [email protected] IRA – November 30, 2009. WHAT? Sensible test preparation Effective test preparation Engaging test preparation HOW? Gamers use Cheat Codes

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Winning strategies for test taking l.jpg

Winning Strategies for Test Taking

Linda Denstaedt - [email protected]

Judy Cova Kelly - [email protected]

IRA – November 30, 2009


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WHAT?

Sensible test preparation

Effective test preparation

Engaging test preparation

HOW?

Gamers use Cheat Codes

We coach students with Game Strategies

WHY?

Incorporate best practice teaching

Tests are gatekeepers

No reason this cannot be fun


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The way to grow students who have test-sense, is to explicitly teach them the skills, procedures, strategies and processes that good test takers use. Only through explicit instruction will students own and be able to transfer necessary skills to the test taking situation.”

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.

Linda Denstaedt, Judy Kelly, Kathleen Kryza

Teaching Students How to Think: Test Sense


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Studying Characteristics of a Genre

How texts work

Explicit lessons defining elements of a genre

Inquiry based or direct teaching


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How does a Nonfiction Feature Article Work?

Identify and name one text feature or text structure in this article that will most likely be in another article.

Why do feature article writers use this structure or element? How does it help a reader?




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What We Know About Tests

Tests sometimes crowd many words on a page.

Questions always follow the selections.

Multiple choice test questions are sometimes written in very formal English.

Multiple-choice test questions may ask about a similar concept in different ways.

Multiple-choice test questions sometimes include distracters that draw attention away from the correct answer.

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.




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Dense textTHE AMAZING MORPHOBUTTERFLIES FLICKER FROM FLOWER TO FLOWER IN YOUR BACKYARD. YOU’VE SEEN THEM SETTLE ONTO A BROAD BLOOM, SIPPING THE SWEET NECTAR. YOU’RE SEEN THEM SO OFTEN THEY DON’T SEEM SPECIAL AT ALL. HOWEVER ONE BUTTERFLY IS VERY SPECIAL. THIS SPECIAL BUTTERFLY IS THE FAMOUS BLUE MORPHO.AMAZING BLUEThe Morpho butterfly is an iridescent blue. It is so brilliant in the sun that pilots can see groups of Morphos flying over the forests in South America.Their bright blue color is caused by the fruit caterpillars eat. Thousands of tiny overlapping scales create the iridescent blue, which makes them easy to spot. The brilliant color makes them attractive to the opposite sex, but it also attracts predators.BLENDING INTO THE TREESMorphos can hide from predators simply by closing their wings. The back of their wings is brown and bronze-colored. These colors help the Morpho blend into the leaves.


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Reading Graphics

Read the title.

Read the labels and the key.

Look at the specific information in the graph.

Ask yourself “What is the graph showing me about this information? How is it related?

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.


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Reading Questions about Graphics

Does the question ask for information that can be lifted directly off the graphic?

or

Does the question require an interpretation of the data given?


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Game Strategies for Answering Multiple Choice Questions

Understanding What the Question is Asking

Understanding Questions that Have “Almost Right Answers”

Understanding Questions that Use Facts from the Text as Wrong Answer Choices

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.


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Understanding What the

Question is Asking

Two Issues:

  • Multiple choice test questions are sometimes

    written in very formal English.

  • Sometimes test questions ask for similar

    information in different ways.


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Formal:

What is the central idea of this selection?

Informal:

What was our reading about?

Multiple choice test questions are sometimes

written in very formal English.


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Sometimes test questions ask for similar information in differentways.

Main Idea Questions

What was the selection mainly about?

What was the selection mostly about?

Which sentence BEST tells what the story is about?

Which one of the following is one central idea of this selection?

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.


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Author’s Purpose Questions different

The author mainly wrote this selection to…

Why did the author include conversation in this selection?

Why did the author place a break in the text about halfway through the selection?

The central purpose of this selection is to provide…

Sometimes test questions ask for similar information in different ways.

From: Winning Strategies for Test-Taking. Corwin Press. March 2009.


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Understanding Questions that Have “Almost Right Answers” different

Understanding Questions that Use Facts from the Text as Wrong Answer Choices


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Conclusion different

How can you make test preparation

sensible,

effective,

engaging?


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Analyze Your State Test differentAsk Yourself…

What types of questions are on your test?

Multiple Choice, Constructed Response

or Writing on Demand

What thinking, reading and writing strategies

do students use to access the test?

How do you limit the content and test

strategies you review?


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Life Skills Connection


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