If you live in one of the PARCC state standardized test states -- including New Jersey where I am based -- you should exercise your right as a parent/student to request that the school allow your child to take the test with PENCIL AND PAPER, not the computerized version. Why? Because students score lower when they take the online format. Here's why:
And here's the original national news coverage of the lower online-version test scores:
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Standardized test math doesn't behave like normal math. On a normal math test, your knowledge of the concepts and material is being tested, using (hopefully) fair test questions. On a standardized test, though, they're looking for you to think outside the box, to apply math concepts and algorithms to unusual situations, and to really understand what they're looking for and find the quickest way to go about it. Let's take a question from a recent GRE student's lesson:
If 4x – 5y = 10 and 6y – 3x = 22, then what is x + y?
Now, this is a set of two equations with two variables each, so it looks to me like a perfect candidate for solving as a system. If I were solving this one on a regular math test, I'd start off trying the substitution method, since I'm more comfortable with that one. So let's explore that one first:
I'll start by solving the first equation for y:
4x – 5y = 10
- 5y = 10 – 4x
y = (-10/5) – (4/-5)x
y = -2 + (4/5)x
You may have heard that the Scholastic Aptitude Test is being redesigned, with a new version being introduced in 2016. The testing company that creates the SAT has said that they will strive to make the test more relevant and more reflective of the content that high school students cover in their classwork. Therefore, there will be a reduced need to learn obscure words that are rarely ever used in speech or even in writing, like the word "tyro." I doubt whether anyone uses that word other than in learning it for the SAT.
One might ask, why after all these years, has the SAT administrators and developers decided to change the test? Didn't they know that they were asking the "wrong" questions 20 years ago? Didn't they consider how they were causing undue stress and anxiety among students taking the test over the years (and we are talking about a huge number of students)! How many? About 3,000,000 each year. ...
The “silly mistake” is quite possibly the most mischievous and irksome of the math demons. It is a sly beast that lurks in the deepest recesses of your mind, emerging only periodically to sully your scores in a most disturbing way. Because of its crafty nature, it is able to lull you into the false belief that your thorough understanding of mathematic concepts will keep you safe from its clutches. But, as I’m sure you know, “silly mistakes” afflict even the most soundly prepared students.
What exactly constitutes a “silly mistake?” Here are some common examples for standardized tests:
Misreading the question (or failing to read the entire instructions)
Filling in the wrong bubble on your answer sheet
Making a slight arithmetic error
Incorrectly copying down the original problem
Turning a negative number into a positive number (or vice versa)
I don’t care who you are, what your educational background is, or where you go to school… you have been...
Having worked with hundreds of test-takers on standardized exams over the years, I have tutored students of all abilities and levels of commitment to their studies. Most students want to know how many hours of tutoring are necessary to achieve the results they desire. While there is no single number of hours uniformly required for all students, for all exams, I do recommend as a rule of thumb that you spend as many hours working on your own as you have spent working with your tutor. To maximize the benefit of working with a tutor for a standardized test, it is necessary to implement, and then practice, the strategies you've learned on your own. Ideally, a student matches the time spent studying independently hour for hour with the time spent tutoring (similarly, university courses typically advise a minimum of one hour of study for every hour spent in class). It is to your advantage to meet with your tutor frequently, and early, enough that the tools you acquire to succeed on your...
Strategy is king on tests like the SAT, GRE or ACT. After preparation, the most important thing to getting the highest score is to develop a strategy long before you take the test. The reason for the importance of strategy is that these tests are timed.
What changes when a test is timed? What changes is there is a premium on answering as many questions as possible within the time limit. This means you loose points for thinking about a problem more than a few seconds. Because of this, you cannot afford to take any question personally; you need to assign a time limit on each question and if you cannot answer the question within the time limit, you need to either guess the answer or leave it blank and continue to the next question. Whether you guess or leave a question unanswered depends on how the standardized test will be graded, and you need to be thoroughly familiar with that grading policy.
Taking a standardized...