Test-Taking Tips &Strategies Preparing for Standardized Tests (CST, CAHSEE, others)
Test Taking Tips On The Eve Before Testing • Engage in activities that ease your mind (do not play violent video games, or watch horror movies, etc.) • Solve family/friend problems before the testing date. • Talk to your parents about any concerns that you might have about the test. • Make sure you place all necessary materials in your backpack • Eat a well-balanced dinner, but not too late (avoid upset stomach) • Go To Bed Early (you need about 8 to 9 hours of sleep).
Test Taking Tips The Morning of Testing • Start your day as you always do. • Eat a good breakfast* but don’t drink a large beverage before hand (Duh!!). • Get to school a few minutes earlier than you usually do.. • Know what classroom you are to repot to. • Think Positive!
Test Taking Tips Once You Enter Your Classroom • Relax!! • Ask for procedural help when directions allow it. Your teacher is there to help you. • The STAR-CST test is based on California State Content Standards. You have already studied most of the material you will see on the test.
Test Taking Tips During The Test • If you do not understand the directions or are unsure, ask for help! • Read the question and all answer choices before marking anything • Choose the most appropriate strategy to help you solve the problem.
Test Taking Tips Pace Yourself • Answer the easiest questions first. • Don’t spend too much time on any one question. Do your best and then move on. • Be sure to go back to those questions you skipped.
Test Taking Tips A Matter of Time • If any time remains, spend it on those questions about which you know nothing or almost nothing. • As you go back through, do not change all answers; Your first guess is usually right!!!
Test Taking Tips Guessing • “All of the Above” is usually right. • “None of the Above” is usually wrong. • If the choice uses words like “never” and “always” it is usuallywrong. • Remember, once you guess stick with your answer. Only change if you are absolutely sure you are wrong.
Test Taking Tips The Death Grip If your arm tires during testing it is probably due to the hard grip that you have on your pencil. Relax the grip and give those muscles a break. Giving your Back a Break Do not break your back with bad posture or tense muscles. Sit properly and relax your back and shoulders If you need to stretch your arm, hands or back during the test, keep it discrete. Do not disturb others!!!
Test Taking Tips Final Tips • Fill in bubbles fully, write neatly, and erase stray marks. • Double-check the test number in your test booklet against the answer sheet every few questions to be sure you haven’t moved on to the wrong question. • Remember it's okay not to know everything—unlike class tests, these tests will have some questions designed to challenge the limits of your knowledge (beyond your grade level).
Test Taking Tips Basic Knowledge + Strategies = Better Odds • Follow all the tips. • Trust yourself: You know more than you think!!! • Apply the strategies.
Test Taking Tips Some facts about the CST • Math section has 65 questions (all grades) • ELA section has 75 questions (grades 6 & 8) and 83 questions (grade 7). • There are 5 levels: Advanced (A) [≈ 82 – 100%] Proficient (P) [≈ 66– 81%] Basic (B) [≈ 48 – 65%] Below Basic (BB) [≈ 33 – 47%] Far Below Basic (FBB) [≈ 0 – 32%] • Most common Grading Scale : A = 90 -100% B = 80 – 89% C = 70 – 79% D = 60 – 69% F = 0 – 59% Compare the scale percentages (remember 50% means ½ )
Test Taking Tips Each Q has 4 possible answers • “Ini, mini, mani , mo” or “Ave Maria Dame Punteria” = ¼ or 25% • This way, your chances are for 654 = 17,850,625 for 754 = 31,640,625 for 834 = 47,458,321 (with all answers right)
Test Taking Tips Above all, • Glance at all the questions first • Go for all those questions that you know how to solve (trust what you know). • Last, go back to the questions you skipped and apply the strategies.
Why Do We Take These Tests? • Class v. District v. State Tests • The STAR-CST test is based on the California State Standards (Same Contract all across the state). • CST help teachers and administrators determine areas of strength and weakness, as well as to determine which classes you may take next year. • CST is use to calculate your school’s API score (a school report card!!!) • The API score is also used to rank schools throughout the state. • FYI: Our district has the three highest high school API scores in East County! DO YOUR BEST EFFORT!!!!
Read the questions first! • When you read the questions first you prepare your mind for reading the selection. • Study any graphs, charts and/or diagrams. • Get an idea of what the passage will be about. • Pay attention to any vocabulary words they give. Write them on your scratch paper. • Make sure you understand what each question is asking you. • The best reason for reading the questions first is… Many questions can be answered without reading the selected text!
69. Read this sentence. Hallidie believed that the cables would be strong enough to pull the cable cars up the steep slopes of the city. Which words from this sentence are adjectives? A strong, steep B would, enough C slopes, city D believed, pull 70. Which of the following sentences from paragraph 3 would make the most logical concluding sentence for that paragraph? A As a result, Hallifie began making wire cables. B He hired William E. Eppelsheimer, a German engineer, to design the first cable-car line. C Now he was ready to “go onboard.” D Hallidie also needed a franchise to build the system. 71.Read this sentence. About one month after the test run, the Clay Street Hill line opened for public use. (Kessler 21) What is the correct way to punctuate the in-text citation? A use (Kessler, 21) B use. (Kessler, 21) C use (Kessler 21). D use. (Kessler 21). 72. Read this sentence. San Francisco, ____________________, is the only city today where the cable car still operates. Which word or phrase could best provide a transition in this sentence that would unify its ideas with the previous sentence? A however B for example C as a result D nonetheless
73. Read this sentence Puppet theaters can be traced back to ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China;__________, some people believe that puppet theaters may have been the first theatre of any kind. Which word or phrase could best provide an effective transition between the two parts of the sentence? A in fact B even so C besides D additionally 74. Read this sentence There is four common types of puppets: shadow figures, rod puppets, marionettes, and hand puppets. What is the correct way to write the underlined words? A There is B There are C There are D They’re 75. Read this sentence. The puppets are quite memorable because their shadows are so intricate. Which underlined word is spelled incorrectly? A quite B memorible C their C intricate 75. Which statement in paragraph 3 of Kelsey’s draft should be supported with facts and details? A The Chinese used shadow figures made of animal skins or cardboard. B Rod puppets are more lifelike figures. C The third kind of puppet, the marionette, is difficult to manipulate. D Hand puppets are the fourth type of puppet.
When you must read the text to find the answer, read carefully! • Try reading only the first and last paragraphs as well as the first sentence of all other paragraphs. • Use your scratch paper to write down any important words. • Use your scratch paper to take notes about important ideas.
Look for Context Clues! • Check the text and question for clues to the meaning. • Look for relationships between words in definition questions. • Break down large words to figure out their meaning. • Use the reading strategies you learned in class.
Vocabulary-in-Context Questions Reading words in context makes figuring out tough vocabulary much easier. The test makers use Vocabulary-in-Contextquestions to test this important skill. Every time you read challenging text (a difficult novel or a quality newspaper), you figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context. The context of a word is the words that surround it. If you’re stuck on an unfamiliar word, focus on any familiar words in the same sentence.
Vocabulary in Context (Example) For example, try to use the context clues in the following sentences to figure out the meaning of the word feigned: Keith feignedbeing sick so he could stay home from school. Using the clues sick and stay home from school makes it easier to understand that feigned means… faked.
Vocabulary in Context (Example) The thief kept his illicit wealth in a closet in the basement. We’re looking at a thiefwho is keeping illicit wealth in a closetin the basement. Using these clues, we come to the conclusion that illicit means illegal.
Vocabulary in Context (Practice) Incensed by his opponent’s behavior, the tennis player smashed his racket on the ground. Incensed means… A. interested B. amused C. unmoved D. enraged
Vocabulary in Context (Practice) We’re looking at someone who has smashed his racket on the ground. This person is not interested in or amused by his opponents behavior. And he is definitely not unmoved (his reaction is highly emotional.) We can conclude that he is enraged. D (enraged) would be the correct answer choice.
Vocabulary in Context (Practice) Since I had lost a few checker pieces, I used pennies to represent the missing ones. Represent means to… A. replace B. reject C. support D. revise
Vocabulary in Context (Practice) The speaker had lostsome checker pieces and used pennies instead. To use one thing instead of another is to replace it. A. Would be the correct answer.
Vocabulary in Context (Example) Though I was the one who came up with the concept for the design, she came up with the final product. Concept means… A. color B. idea C. money D. sketch
Vocabulary in Context (Practice) A major clue in this sentence is found in the word though because it indicates the speaker did something that was the opposite of the person who came up with the final product. Looking at the possible answers, I can see that the opposite of coming up with the final product would be coming up with the initial idea. B Would be the correct answer.
Answer the questions! • Eliminate any obviously wrong answers. • Choose the best answer from the remaining choices. • Bubble in the answer on your answer sheet; make sure you bubble in the correct space.
Double Trouble Answer Choices In the Language section of the Language Arts Test, underlined questions test your ability to correct grammatical errors in a sentence. The test makers underline only the specific phrase being tested. This is where you focus your attention.
Double Trouble Answer Choices A great strategy for underlined questions is to eliminate Double Trouble answer choices. On underlined questions,there is rarely more than one error in a sentence, but these questions will usually have one and sometimes two answer choices that correct more than one error. These are Double Trouble choices.
Double Trouble Answer Choices Double Trouble answer choices trick you into believing that because they correct more than one error, they must be the right answer choice. But they are not. The strategic thing to do is to immediately eliminate those answer choices that correct more than one error.Don’t even consider them. By doing this you greatly increase your chances of choosing the right answer.
Double Trouble Here is a sample question to practice on. The film Jaws was release in the 1970’s. A were release in the 1970’s. B was released in the 1970’s. Cwerereleased in the 1970’s. D Correct as is You can automatically eliminate answer C because it makes two corrections; was is changed to were, and release is changed to released. This is double trouble. Don’t waste your time considering this answer.
Try these Double Trouble problems • Did you know thatdoctor Lu is going to receive an award next week? • A Doctor Lu is going • B Doctor Lu are going • C doctor Lu, is going • D Correct as is • What answer choice can you automatically eliminate.
Double Trouble • You can automatically eliminate choice B because it makes two corrections: Doctor Lu are going. That’s Double Trouble. There should only be one correction in the answer. You’ve just increased your chances of getting the right answer by 25 %
Double Trouble (practice) • As she entered the office, Rachel asked, “Hello, is anyone there? • A there”. • B there • C there?” • D Correct as is • What answer choice can you automatically eliminate?
Double Trouble • You can automatically eliminate answer choice A because it makes two changes.
Double Trouble (practice) • TravelEast on Route 90 to get from Boston to Seattle. • A East on route 90 • B east on route 90 • C east on Route 90 • D Correct as is • Which answer choice can you automatically eliminate?
Double Trouble • You can automatically eliminate answer choice B.
Double Trouble (practice) • Please give the information to him and I so we can use it later on. • A he and me so • B him and me so • C he and I. So • D Correct as is • Which answer choice can you automatically eliminate?
Double Trouble • You can automatically eliminate answer choice A and answer choice C because they both make two corrections each. These types of questions never need more than one correction. By eliminating these two choices you increase your chance of getting the right answer by 50%.
Elimination strategies. Very often on standardized tests, whether it’s Math, English, Science, or Social Studies, you will see correct as is, all of the above, or none of the above as the last answer choice given. If you don’t know the answer to the question, immediately eliminate these answers. Most of the time they are wrong. Test makers use these options to trick you. They are answers that make you feel comfortable.
Elimination Strategies In the Language section of the English Language Arts Test, correct as is, all of the above, or none of the aboveare often used with Double Trouble answers. So it is possible to eliminate both answer types and have to choose from the only two remaining answers. That really increases your chances of getting the answer correct.
Substitution Strategy Multiple meaning questions test your understanding of words that have more than one meaning. For example, the word part can be a verb (to part your hair) and it can be a noun (I got a part in the play). A great strategy for multiple meaning questions is to rule out answer choices that contain the wrong parts of speech. For example, if you’re looking for an answer containing a verb ( to dance, to cut, to feast) you can rule out any answer choice containing a noun (a dance, a cut, a feast).
Multiple Meaning Questions (Practice) The dancers swayed to the sound of the beat. In which sentence does the word beatmean the same thing as in the sentence above? A.The team found its opponents difficult to beat. B. The owner was arrested because he beat his dog. C. A steady beat is essential for any musical performer. D. The priest beat the drum throughout the ceremony.
Multiple Meaning Questions (Practice) The word beatis used as a noun (a name of a person, place, or thing) in the sentence. Answers A. B. and D. use the word as a verb (an action word). Only in answer C. is the word used as a noun. So C. is the correct answer.