STAAR Math: 15 Strategies for a timed math test
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As teachers and parents at SMARTS Club we have put together these strategies to help your kids succeed in STAAR Math tests with best possible test scores.
- Listen attentively to the teacher/examiner giving the directions for the test so that you know what you are expected to do on the test. You would be saving a lot of time later on by carefully listening to the directions.
- It is a timed test so budget your time appropriately. Do your work quickly; but don’t rush. Allow time for checking answers or filling in the grid –ins. Plan to use the entire time, review and review again if there is time left over.
- Break down complicated questions into more manageable parts. Look for negative words in questions and answer choices also. Know your math vocabulary and formulas so you can score on the word problems. STAAR test would mostly have word problems and grid- ins. Do not rush to answer before you read all the answer choices.
- Position your answer sheet next to your test booklet in order to mark your answers quickly. Mark the answer sheet carefully and check to be sure that the number next to the circle on your answer sheet is the same as the number next to the question you are answering (you may wish to use the edge of a paper as a marker).
- In math be careful of copying right figures while computing your answer. If your answer does not match the given answer, than compute it again carefully. You can also note if they are looking for round figure or estimation or may be a different unit e.g. is it in yards or feet, minutes or hours.
- Do not be overconfident even simple math problem should be worked out on scratch paper carefully. Make sure you are writing numbers neatly e.g. In hurry you might make 0 into a 6 .
- Write place value of the numbers correctly in your scratch paper. Be sure to check the decimal values and whole values before computing. Remember it is a timed test and doing it right the first time is the best strategy.
- Make sure the units are similar while calculating. Be careful not to mix up inches and yard in your calculations which would produce an incorrect answer. Read what units the answer needs to be in. Memorize your conversion table to save time.
- Do not be too happy to see your computed answer to be one of the answer choices. The test makers know what wrong choices could be made and those are included strategically in the answers. So check your answer before marking it on the answer sheet.
- Ask the instructor for help in interpreting an unclear or ambiguous word or question you don’t understand. Don’t over interpret the questions or look for hidden meanings. Be wary of “all of the above “and “none of the above” responses.
- Eliminate obviously wrong answer choices and eliminate items that are correct but don’t answer the question e.g. same number with different units.
- Do not panic while answering a question, leave it for awhile and return to it later. The best way is to look for the next question you can answer, sometimes in answering another question, a phrase or thought will jog your memory.
- If time permits than check your answer by UPS Check or by simply substituting values to see if your answer is right.
- After you have attempted all of the questions and when the pressure to finish the test is reduced, double-check the answers. Never leave a question without answering; there is no negative marking in STAAR for wrong answers. Erase all changes carefully and completely on the answer sheet
- Last but not the least; do not be disturbed about other students finishing before you. There are no prizes for finishing early.
For educational tips and articles like this, please visit our website frequently. SMARTS Club is located in Frisco, Plano, Irving and Flower Mound offering exclusive after school care programs with choice of training (Frisco Math tutoring, Frisco Reading Tutoring, Frisco writing Tutoring) in all academic subjects including STAAR and SAT prep classes. We offer a Diagnostics Test/Academic Evaluation to develop a personalized program for your child. Contact us to enroll and watch the test scores go up!