Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general? - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 02-11-2018, 03:31 PM #1
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Default Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Hi guys.

Ever since I've been in school I've apparently performed low, academically speaking. I remember the first month of school, I guess I went too slow I had to be switched to a classroom that was suppose to be more of my pace. And I kind of have / had "okay" parents, but they would always compare me to my cousins and say things like "Look at your cousin, he gets better grades than you." And now as I look back through my old elementary report cards, I've realized that I actually had decent grades. They were in their A's and B's range. But I guess I never had any supportive parents?

But aside from that, I've always performed academically low on state standardized assessments. Especially math. I guess because ever since I started school, I never had anyone really tell me "You need to take school seriously" or "Make sure you pay attention class" aside from the fact that I would get judged by apparently "low grades" which kind of led me to not really caring for standardized assessments, or taking school as seriously as I should've.

Does anyone have any tips to help me do better on standardized assessments, I guess?

Thank you.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:12 AM #2
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Do you know why you don't score well? Do you feel like you are doing well and then get a poor score? Do you find that you don't know the material that's being tested? Do you have enough time to finish?
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:58 PM #3
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Hi there.

Thank you for getting back to me. I don't score well because I simply hate tests, and I hate standardized tests. It's also because I'm extremely lazy and I don't really study. The last standardized test I had, I actually studied for it, and it was Geometry because I had a feeling, or at least was hoping that I'd for once be able to get a passing score -- but I didn't, even after studying. It wasn't the fact that studying didn't help, it was just when I took the test I guess I was being very close minded, and because the state worded the problems differently, I couldn't relate it to some of the things we learned, except like one question.

And I guess in a way, I find that I'm being tested on material I'm not being tested on. But I think that also has to do with the fact that, like with math, there's tons of ways to just solve one math problem. And when I took the math standardized test, I only focused on the one way we were taught to solve those problems, not thinking of other ways to answer the problems.

And I guess I did have enough time. They also allot us more time if we need it.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:08 AM #4
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Yeah, I never did that well on math standardized tests even though I did okay with math in general. The tests can be really broad. I'm not sure if you can find this info or not, but sometimes the testing authority will say that 10% is on this topic, 20% on that topic and it can be really helpful to figure out what you should study.

In your situation, I'd suggest studying with lots of practice tests, hopefully ones specific to the standardized test you are taking. I've also heard that your first 'guess' on a test has a greater chance of being right, so if you are torn between two answers, maybe go with the one you liked first? With the practice tests you could actually see if that's true for you and it might help figure out which answer you should choose.

Also, if you take tests where they subtract for wrong answers, strategically *not* answering questions can be a good idea.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:27 AM #5
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Yeah -- thank you for your response again, as well. Thankfully I don't have to take a standardized test for my math class this year, but I wanted to ask just in case if I have to take another one next year. I'll try keeping in mind of those tips that you suggested to me.

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Old 02-23-2018, 04:59 AM #6
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Back when I went to school in the 70s and 80s, all the standardized tests except the writing test were multiple choice where your score was based on whether or not you picked the correct answer (a, b, c, or d). Nowadays, many of the math achievement tests state school districts are adopting are somewhat based on what I call the "new math". In the "new math" teaching methods, process is considered just as important as getting the right answer so in many math achievement tests (when they are in essay form) a child who figures out the right answer but does not show the work or shows work that doesn't show how they got the answer does not receive full credit for the problem. In many math essay tests it is important to be able to put on the paper the process in your mind you went through to achieve your answer. There are tests out there (I do not know if your district is like this nor would I ever speak about a specific test) where a child who gets the wrong answer but shows a legitimate process gets as much credit for their answer as the child who gets the right answer. Usually teachers in your school are aware of what their states achievement tests are looking for so if their state emphasizes "new math", they should be teaching it (requiring that kids always show their work and grading that too). In the case of college achievement tests, there are many books that let you know what the tests are emphasizing at the public library--it is good to be aware of what tests you are taking are looking for. As a former teacher, I have seen many children give up during achievement tests--many students do not score as high as they might otherwise have done because they do not use the entire time that has been allotted to them to show what they are capable of (rushing through it, feeling so negative about their chances that they refuse to try). Feeling positive about your chances is an important factor in how well you do.
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:39 AM #7
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopingtrying View Post
Back when I went to school in the 70s and 80s, all the standardized tests except the writing test were multiple choice where your score was based on whether or not you picked the correct answer (a, b, c, or d). Nowadays, many of the math achievement tests state school districts are adopting are somewhat based on what I call the "new math". In the "new math" teaching methods, process is considered just as important as getting the right answer so in many math achievement tests (when they are in essay form) a child who figures out the right answer but does not show the work or shows work that doesn't show how they got the answer does not receive full credit for the problem. In many math essay tests it is important to be able to put on the paper the process in your mind you went through to achieve your answer. There are tests out there (I do not know if your district is like this nor would I ever speak about a specific test) where a child who gets the wrong answer but shows a legitimate process gets as much credit for their answer as the child who gets the right answer. Usually teachers in your school are aware of what their states achievement tests are looking for so if their state emphasizes "new math", they should be teaching it (requiring that kids always show their work and grading that too). In the case of college achievement tests, there are many books that let you know what the tests are emphasizing at the public library--it is good to be aware of what tests you are taking are looking for. As a former teacher, I have seen many children give up during achievement tests--many students do not score as high as they might otherwise have done because they do not use the entire time that has been allotted to them to show what they are capable of (rushing through it, feeling so negative about their chances that they refuse to try). Feeling positive about your chances is an important factor in how well you do.
Thank you for replying back to me. Yeah -- I guess that's true as well. I won't have any standardized assessments this year, nor probably next year either, but I was just wondering. I highly dislike standardized assessments. But I do agree with the fact that I often feel to discouraged when I take those tests. I'll try to keep in mind your opinions and suggestions for future reference for when I do take another "formal" test.

Thank you again.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:46 PM #8
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous57777 View Post
Back when I went to school in the 70s and 80s, all the standardized tests except the writing test were multiple choice where your score was based on whether or not you picked the correct answer (a, b, c, or d). Nowadays, many of the math achievement tests state school districts are adopting are somewhat based on what I call the "new math". In the "new math" teaching methods, process is considered just as important as getting the right answer so in many math achievement tests (when they are in essay form) a child who figures out the right answer but does not show the work or shows work that doesn't show how they got the answer does not receive full credit for the problem. In many math essay tests it is important to be able to put on the paper the process in your mind you went through to achieve your answer. There are tests out there (I do not know if your district is like this nor would I ever speak about a specific test) where a child who gets the wrong answer but shows a legitimate process gets as much credit for their answer as the child who gets the right answer. Usually teachers in your school are aware of what their states achievement tests are looking for so if their state emphasizes "new math", they should be teaching it (requiring that kids always show their work and grading that too). In the case of college achievement tests, there are many books that let you know what the tests are emphasizing at the public library--it is good to be aware of what tests you are taking are looking for. As a former teacher, I have seen many children give up during achievement tests--many students do not score as high as they might otherwise have done because they do not use the entire time that has been allotted to them to show what they are capable of (rushing through it, feeling so negative about their chances that they refuse to try). Feeling positive about your chances is an important factor in how well you do.
Hi there,

Iím sorry for having replied late back to you. I appreciate you for having taken the time to replied back to my post as well as reading it. I think you were right about saying feeling positive about my chances of doing well on a test is good. I actually retook the SAT twice and the ACT once. My score went up significantly than the usual ďaverage scoresĒ I was getting. Even though they went up, they unfortunately were still low to be up to ďparĒ for most colleges to get accepted into them. But when I did retake those tests, I knew the structure, and I knew what was going to be on them ó and I felt a little more positive. Sure, I went up only a few points, but at least I didnít go down, and I also want to say I tried more than I actually did the first time, which Iím proud of that fact.

At this point, I think Iím going to go the community college route and than transfer my credits on over to a state college or university. It would be cheaper, flexible, and easier for me in regards to personal and home things going on right now.

Thank you again so much for having taken your time to read and reply back to this post.

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Old 03-27-2019, 04:25 PM #9
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

I did ok at school and university

But I donít seem to get past the gatekeeper to any useful help in this country..
Because I donít trust them for one reason
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:38 PM #10
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Default Re: Tips to do better on standardized assessments and tests in general?

It's hard to do something you hate. ait seems like you have two challenges, 1. you hate them, 2. you lack motivation. Doing well because your parents want you to or your cousin is better is not a good motivator and because you don't like taking the tests motivation will even harder to come by.

I have two suggestions for you. Find a reason to do well, an amazing one and one that you want not anyone else. then set up some routines for study, everyday study at the same time for the same length of time, no exceptions, at all, ever, period. If you do these 2 things you'll be well on your way to improved SAT scores.
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