8 Ways to Prepare Students for Standardized Testing

Our students are intelligent in more ways than can ever be measured by a standardized test. Howard Gardner describes 8 intelligence types, yet traditional testing only measures their logical and linguistic strengths.

We differentiate our instruction but standardize testing.

This is, unfortunately, not something that we can control. What we can control is how help students navigate and think about standardized testing.

Here are 8 topics to guide them through this process.

1. Remember It’s Just a Test and Can Never Measure All Your Strengths.

What does it mean?

We know from Howard Gardner that folks are intelligent in many ways. Unfortunately, most schools only measure strengths in the areas of logical and linguistic intelligence. This is one of the reasons why perfectly intelligent people might not test well. So what can we do? Help students find their strengths.

How do students interact with learning?

Students find their strengths with a self-grading multiple intelligence quiz to find their strengths. This is also a great starting point for career exploration!

2. The Way You Treat Your Body Affects Mind’s Ability to Function

What does this mean?

Our brains are not performing our best when we don’t care for our bodies. This includes getting enough rest, hydrating, nourishment, and more. This is something that we need to discuss in our classes when we want to prepare students to do their very best.

How Do Students Interact with Learning?

This Basic needs check helps students identify ways to better care for their minds and bodies before a big test.

I also encourage the use of this standardized testing take-a-break room between testing sessions to help students do their best.

3. Following Directions Is Important

What does this mean?

It can be so frustrating for both students and teachers when a student loses points over a silly directional error. No matter the age of the student, it is good to do a reminder activity about following directions.

How do students interact with learning?

I give students a following directions challenge. Directions instruct students to read all questions before beginning. There are silly activities listed. The last question states that the other activities should be skipped. Some students will get it- others will look silly and figure it out at the end :)

4. Use Elimination Strategy

What does this mean?

Most standardized tests are designed with a classic four multiple-choice option format. If students know how to eliminate incorrect answers they increase their chance of finding the correct answer.

How Students Interact with Learning:

I use an interactive Google Slide presentation to practice eliminating incorrect answer choices.

5. Watch out for Absolute Words

What Does This Mean?

Absolute language in standardized testing refers to any question that requires yes/no true/false or all/nothing thinking to answer. There are words to look out for such as always, never, none etc. These are words students need to watch out for in tests.

How Students Interact with Learning