Classzone.com, sponsored by textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, offers strategies and practice for state and standardized tests in a test-taking handbook. The link to the resource may be found at the conclusion of this article.
The general test-taking strategies include: • Arrive on time and be prepared. Be sure to bring either sharpened pencils with erasers or pens – whichever you are told to bring. • If you have any questions, ask them before the test begins. Make sure you understand the test procedures, the timing, and the rules. • Read the test directions carefully. Look at the passages and questions to get an overview of what is expected. • Tackle the questions one at a time rather than thinking about the whole test. • Look for main ideas as you read passages. They are often stated at the beginning or the end of a paragraph. Sometimes the main idea is implied. • Refer back to the reading selections as needed. For example, if a question asks about an author’s attitude, you might have to reread a passage for clues. • If you are not sure of your answer, make a logical guess. You can often arrive at the correct answer by reasoning and eliminating wrong answers. • As you fill in answers on your answer sheet, make sure you match each test item to its numbered space on the answer sheet. • Don’t look for patterns in the positions of correct choices. • Only change an answer if you are sure your original choice is incorrect. If you do change an answer, erase your original choice neatly and thoroughly. • Check your answers and reread your essay