Mar 29

Teaching Tip: Make Every Test Count

My students have to take tests constantly if it is not a chapter test that is coming up then it is a state mandated test.  It seems like that is all we end up doing so by the end of the year with no immediate consequences on the line for them the state end of the year tests become less of a priority.  In my particular state at the middle school level if a student fails the state test they will have to take an extra math or reading class instead of an elective the following school year.  Now on the teacher sides of things if the students do not do well then it could be the teacher’s neck on the chopping block.  Now my particular set of students at the inner-city-99% free and reduced meal state taken over school I work at score relativity well roughly with a 80% passing rate on their standardized test.  So how do I get my set of students to do well, well I make every test count.

From day one I try to convince my students that their standardized test will be the easiest test that they will take all year to read about how I convince of that you can click here.  I want my students to think their standardized test is easy because I have come to realize over my years of teaching that when some students face adversity they shut down which is definitely something I do not want to happen when my career is on the line. I want them to break through that adversity early on in the year starting with their first chapter test.  Since their standardized test is around 45 questions each one of their chapter tests are around 45 questions designed the same way as their standardized tests.  I want them to be so used to taking longer tests that when it comes to the real deal they do not get tired, bored, or fed up with taking a long test.  No matter the year when I hand out that first test to them they cannot believe that I am giving them a test that has that many questions on it, but by the end of the year they are used it to.

I have found that to probably prepare my students I want them to do well on the test I have to make each test as close to the real thing as possible.  I have never understood the principal of giving them alternative style tests when unfortunately their whole year is judged by how they do on that one day.  If I never give them a test that is similar to the one that will determine what school and classes they will be able to attend when they go on to high school then I am doing them a disservice.  Do the right thing by your students, make every test count by making it as close to the real thing as possible and your students will not let you down at the end of the year.

Simple steps to making every test count
1. Be familiar with the specific items or themes that will be on the standardized test
2. Use realized items in your chapter tests
3. Use other states released items for all your questions when making a semester final or benchmark
4. Remind them of their success on your tests over the year the days leading up to the standardized test
5. Keep things the same if you give them a study guide to fill out for a chapter test do the same thing for the standardized test

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