Tips For Teachers: Helping Your Students Prepare For Standardized Testing

One of the most difficult circumstances you face as a teacher is that of knowing that you have an entire classroom full of unique minds – minds that must perform adequately on a government-mandated test if they are to move forward in their educations. There is a lot at stake when it comes to standardized testing, for both you and your students, and that can be a lot of pressure. Fortunately, there are some practical measures you can take to ensure your students’ best chances of success. Here are some tips for helping your student prepare for standardized testing:
Integrate test reviews into your lesson plan. As a teacher, you know exactly what types of questions your students will be facing, which means you are in a prime position for helping them study. Additionally, the subjects covered on standardized tests are those covered in your curriculum, which means you have plenty of opportunities over the course of the year to integrate test reviews into your lesson plan. Make this simple by creating your own tests in the same format as standardized tests.
Educate your students on general test-taking success strategies. This encompasses everything from getting good sleep the night before a big test to practicing time management during the test. Test-taking strategy is something you should incorporate into your lessons on an ongoing basis.
Get the parents involved. You can’t follow your students home and force them to study, but you can take measures to hold their parents accountable for supporting and reinforcing what their children are learning at school on the home front. How do you do this? Send a form letter home outlining the standardized testing process and timeline, two or three weeks before test time. Be sure to include a signature line so that parents will have to read and sign. Send personalized letters to parents whose children seem to be struggling in class, advising them on extra care they need to take to help their children test well. As the testing date approaches, send reminders home every few days; include things like study tips, resources, and advice.
Start early. It’s never too soon to begin preparing for a standardized test. As previously mentioned, reviews and success strategy lessons should be worked into your everyday curriculum. However, you should also make it a point to organize official study times early on, during which you revisit lessons that may have fallen out of your students’ immediate memories.
It’s understandable that your students may experience some jitters when it comes to standardized tests. Fortunately, you can be the one to help alleviate the tension (rather than share in it). Make use of these methods for preparing your students for this all-important event.
This is a guest post from Cheree Danehy. It doesn’t matter if your student is in elementary school or preparing to take a Salt Lake City GMAT course and then the exam. The study skills you teach them for standardized tests will last a lifetime.