12 Test Taking Strategies That Develop Good Test Taking Skills
These strategies should be taught over an extended
period of time and in the order presented. You may choose
to teach the skills as they become applicable to your daily
plans. Reinforce ones taught with each classroom test that
students take. Provide many opportunities to review and
practice the strategies throughout the year. Use the
specific strategy language as you teach and review the
strategies so that it becomes very familiar for students
and provides clues for what they are to do.
Strategies for RIGHT Before the test:
1. Mind Dump! Quickly write down all the information that you feel you may forget or
confuse on the test. Do this BEFORE you start the test (as soon as you get the test and
or scrap paper)
2. Preview the WHOLE Test! Look over the whole test first. Previewing “maps” out
the test for you. It lets you see exactly what you will be doing.
Strategies During the test:
3. Be an Inspector! Read every word on every page. Don’t skip anything!
4. Extra! Extra! Read All About It! If the directions say read…READ!! Learn the
difference between scan and read.
5. “Jail the Detail! “ Highlight, underline, or circle the details in the questions. This
keeps you focused on exactly what the question is asking.
5. Be Slick and Predict! Predict what the answer is BEFORE you read the choices.
6. Slash the Trash! Read ALL choices. Eliminate any choices(s) that you know is a wrong
answer. The choice is obviously trash so Slash the Trash!
7. Plug It In, Plug It In! Once you have chosen your answer, plug it in and make sure
it makes sense.
8. Be Smart with Charts & Zap the Maps! Charts and maps provide information to
answer questions. Analyze all information provided in the visuals before answering
9. Keep On Keeping On!
If you get to a couple of questions that you don’t know, don’t give up. If you don't
know the answer to a question right away, circle the question and go back to it later after
you have worked through the entire test once.
Don’t leave a question unanswered. You will not have any chance of getting it right.
(part of If You Snooze, You LOSE!)
Strategies After the test:
10. Check It Out! When you have completed the test, go back and check your work. Go
the extra mile to reaffirm your answers.
50/50! If two answers look correct, and the directions indicate that there is only one
best answer for each question, pick the most obvious answer. If no answer seems to be
quite right, pick the closest one.