Is your child having trouble preparing for and passing their STAAR or college entrance exams? As a mom of two young adults I started my exploration of test preparation just a few years ago. At this time the TAKS test was still in place for all grade levels in Texas. When Texas educators realized that this test was to be replaced by the STAAR test parents and educators knew straight up that the bar would be raised for the level of learning required in Texas schools. So far, I have seen the STAAR test examples and noticed that the formatting is similar. The portion of the test that seems to be causing room for concern is the writing portion. After working for the publishing company who writes these tests I have acquired the knowledge to teach general, but important, strategies to my students that will insure that they make the best possible score for any test. Several time-tested test strategies I teach all students are as follows:
1. Practice, practice, and practice even more, or until you feel confident in both your content and testing format knowledge, especially for the writing portion of any test.
2. Watch your time allowed for completion of the test and practice time saving strategies such as completing the questions that you know you know first. Use your time wisely.
3. Before reading a passage of literature, look at your questions for clues within your reading to mark as you read to save time.
4. Always double check your math answers to see if they make sense. For example, if you come up with a number that is odd and you had two even numbers to add you know your answer is incorrect.
5. Focus your math studies on areas of math that you are unsure of. This is an area of study where a one-on-one tutor can help you determine your individual, math knowledge gaps in learning.
6. Last but not least, study like your future depends on it, because it does.