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Maximizing Student Performance on Standardized Tests

Apr 9

Maximizing Student Performance on Standardized Tests
 

For over a decade, the public school system in North America has seen an unprecedented amount of pressure placed upon educators to have students performing at higher levels than ever before.  In the United States, the introduction of the No Child Left Behind legislation in 2011 established that each state have some form of standardized testing, ultimately holding schools and their administrators accountable for the performance of pupils.  Since then, almost every regional entity in the Western world has introduced similar forms of standardized testing.  Many of these standardized tests are “high-stakes” tests, meaning the performance of students will directly affect the amount of funding a school or school district receives – which could ultimately discern the quality of education for students.

Although each standardized test may have different sections, various styles of questions, and unique requirements, students can prepare for any type of standardized testing in a similar fashion.  The following tips are a few ways students can maximize their performance on any type of standardized test:

Study Properly

Many students often get frustrated after receiving a poor test grade, because they spent hours the night before studying for the exam.  Regardless of how much time a student spends studying, the key is to ensure that the student is studying properly.  Although cramming the night before may be a successful method for some, the majority of students should be preparing for their standardized tests weeks before they are set to begin.  Parents of younger students should consult with their teachers to understand the type of material that will be on the test.  Most classroom teachers will have their students undergo some practice testing before the actual tests are administered, and many sample questions are available online for students and parents to access for further practice.

Prepare the Body

Standardized testing is meant to test the mental ability of students, but these grueling assessments can also take a tolls on students, physically.  Test takers should ensure they have a good night’s rest (most experts state between 7 to 9 hours for children and adolescents), and have a healthy breakfast the next morning.  Parents should ensure their students pack filling and nutritious lunches and snacks so their children can ensure a full day of test-taking.

Follow Instructions Carefully

Regardless of how well a student prepares for a standardized test, the student must apply the knowledge correctly based on the specific instructions of the test.  During the test-taking period itself, students should ensure they listen to the directions of the test administrators very carefully, while also taking the time to read the instructions on the test materials themselves.  Most standardized tests are designed to test student knowledge – not the speed of students, so test-takers should not worry about any time constraints that have been placed on them.  If students are using their time effectively, they should be able to complete all of the questions with additional time at the end for review and revision.