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son struggling with tests


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My 14 year old son was homeschooled K-8th. Now he is in public school. We never did a lot of testing except for spelling tests, vocab tests and standardized tests at the end of the year. He did well with those. We worked for mastery. If he didn't understand a concept we would go over it until he understood. For subjects like science and history he would read chapters and then we would discuss the material. For the most part this is the method I used with my daughters. My oldest daughter went to private school for high school and got straight A's and is doing great in college. My other daughter went to private school for a year and now is dual enrolled. She has also done well. I know that each kid is different but I thought we were doing ok.

 

My son is really struggling with testing at the public school. He had finals this week and so far has received D's on 3 of them. He studied for them but does not do well with Scan tron tests. For some reason he really struggles with multiple choice tests. Fortunately he will still end up with B's and one A in his class so it hasn't hurt his GPA too much. I want to help him now so that he doesn't continue to struggle with this. I feel horrible that I didn't do a better job with him at home. At the time I thought he was doing fine. Overall he is a good student. He does his homework, pays attention, etc.

 

Do you know of any resources that would help him to become a better test taker? I know there are books to prepare for standardized tests but I'm not sure they would help. He does have some test anxiety but also struggles with the test itself. He gets confused with all the possible answers in a multiple choice test. He also seems to have trouble with retention. He missed a whole week of school early in December and then they didn't have finals until this week (after Christmas break). I do think he needs a bit of help with his study skills and organization. I don't think he realized how much work he needed to do to do well. In the beginning of the year he failed a few vocabulary quizzes but he was only spending a few minutes studying for them. After coaching him on doing things like making flashcards and for him to study every day instead of the night before the quiz, he starting getting A's on the vocab quizzes.

 

I would appreciate any suggestions.

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Someone on the High School board recommended these videos on study skills, they are from a community college course. My ds 15 has been working his way through them, I have listened along with him and I've learned some valuable tips myself (eg I am *terrible* at remembering people's names and in one of them he gives tips on how to improve that). There's one there on test taking skills, we haven't done that one yet.

 

hth!

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