State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR tests are around the corner…
Here are a few strategies that can help students to improve their STAAR test scores.
1. Analyze how you did on a similar test. Review your previous online tests and sample tests provided by your teacher, to prepare yourself for the test. This is the website where you can practice for STAAR test http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/staar/. Each test you take prepares you for the next one. These practice tests allow you to estimate how much time you have to answer each question and for a review at the end
- Have a good night sleep, arrive early on the test day and wear comfortable clothing. List what you need before hand to avoid panic. Sleep early the night before the test and pack all things you need for the test before you go to bed. In the morning, arrive early at school and don’t talk to other students before the test as stress can be contagious.
- Stay relaxed and confident. Have a positive attitude and remind yourself that you are going to do your best. If you do not seem to remember a formula or a definition, probability is that it will come back when you start the test. Do some deep belly breathing to relax and avoid panicking.
- Read directions carefully and completely. Avoid careless errors. Do not rush before or during the test. Keep a check on the time as STAAR is a timed test. After getting the cue to start the test, quickly look through the paper for an overview. This gives you an idea about the test and what questions you can cover first.
- Answer questions in a strategic order: Answer easy questions first to build confidence. On objective tests, eliminate obvious incorrect answers. Read through the test a second time and answer more difficult questions. You may pick up cues for answers from the first reading, or become more comfortable with the test environment.
- Always guess when there is no penalty for guessing like in STAAR. You can eliminate options. Use hints from questions you do know to answer questions you do not.
- Do not second guess your first answers if you have marked your answer based on logic using elimination rule and critical analysis then do not change your answer. The first guess is more likely to be correct.
- For multiple choice questions
A) If the two answers look alike: probability is that one of them is correct; choose the best by eliminating choices that mean basically the same thing, and thus cancel each other out.
B) If there are double negatives then: create the equivalent positive statement and always look out for negatives in questions because it changes the best answer you are looking for in the choices
9. Review if you have time. You do not have to be the first one to submit your test. Resist the urge to finish when your friends complete the test. Keep reviewing your paper. Make sure you answered all the questions, and correct any obvious errors. Check that all the answer choices match the marked answers in the answer bubble sheet.
10. Critically analyze the questions and remember that you are looking for the best answer, not only a correct one.
Strategies like these are covered in our Specialized Test Prep Workshops that are sure to win you the STAAR WARS…May the scores be with you!
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