It’s been drilled into students brains for years and years: The key to being prepared for a test is getting a good nightâ€™s sleep and eating a full, healthy breakfast. Both are definitely essential to ensure students are ready on the day of the test, but a student can get nine hours of sleep and fill up on bacon and eggs and still perform poorly when they sit down to perform. Preparation for tests, especially standardized tests, is a yearlong project. It begins with the taught material and is aided by encouragement and useful, yet challenging enrichments. The following examples are a few ways teachers can establish readiness by the time test day rolls around.
1. Promote studying throughout the year. Many students have the tendency to cram information a couple weeks or even a couple days before the big test. Ultimately, this will not suit the student well. Cramming doesnâ€™t generate understanding; it promotes arbitrary memorization. Teachers should help students structure and guide their studying so thereâ€™s no need to cram before a test. With good studying techniques practiced all year, students will be prepared to share their knowledge on paper.
2. Review and practice. In order for students to know what to study, itâ€™s important for them to understand key concepts and have applications for those concepts. Since questions on standardized tests wonâ€™t be the same questions a teacher gives throughout the year, students need to become familiar with the broader ideas the question addresses.
3. Go over test-taking skills. Not everyone is good at taking tests. Test-taking is a skill that can be learned, just like solving mathematics problems and shooting a basketball. It takes practice and patience to learn a skill, and students should be taught the significance of learning the best ways to approach a test. With the right mindset and the proper tools, all students can be prepared.