Preparing Elementary Students to Take Standardized Tests

Standardized testing occurs every year of elementary school. Typically the exams are designed to test the effectiveness of the teaching staff. While the tests are not intended to cause fear and anxiety, nervousness of students is always recognized. While it should be the teachers who become nervous during thes tests, it is the students who feel the weight on their shoulders. This daunting feeling can be minimized. There are a few exam techniques that prepare elementary students to take standardized tests.

Standardized Test Time Management

Standardized tests are almost always timed tests. There is a specified amount of time students must complete their work. If all answers are not complete, they must stop before they have finished. A limited amount of testing time makes the skill of time management extremely important. Teach your students how to quickly and effectively answer questions. The most important step is getting your students to understand what each question is actually asking. Give them several test questions and have them tell you in their own words what information is needed. You could even give them a take-home worksheet with practice questions. Most children who have a problem with time management simply have trouble deciding what is being asked of them.

Prioritizing During Standardized Tests

Many standardized tests are composed of multiple choice questions. Your students will inevitably face extremely easy questions, along with questions that really make them think. Teach your students to answer the questions they know first. Then, after they have answered the easy ones, they can come back to the more difficult test questions. This prevents them from spending too much time fretting over one answer while the clock ticks. This technique is not only helpful, but also homework worksheets.

Process of Elimination

The most powerful skill you can teach your students when facing a multiple choice standardized test is the process of elimination. The great thing about multiple choice is that you have a high chance of getting a correct answer if you guess. You can increase those odds through the process of elimination. Teach your students to go through each question and weed out the answers you know are incorrect. Keep picking away until there is only one choice remaining.

Standardized Test Answer Review

All children should be told to review their test questions and answers if time allows. This is the easiest standardized testing strategy. Unfortunately, it is the strategy that is ignored most often. When students are done with their test with time remaining, they should flip back to the beginning and make sure they still agree with their answers. Brains work in mysterious ways. An answer you thought was correct at the beginning of the test may seem outrageous by the end.

Standardized testing doesn’t have to be an ugly aspect of elementary school. It is a time in which teachers can see their strengths and weaknesses. They pinpoint specific areas which need development. They improve students’ educational experience as a whole. With that being said, elementary student anxiety over standardized testing is completely normal. Minimization of that anxiety can happen if testing preparation occurs.

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