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Giving kids standardized tests for the first time...

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...what should I do so that their scores reflect their abilities?


I'm having each of them work through a test prep book since they've never taken standardized or multiple choice tests before. I want the test results to reflect their ability to do work, so I don't want to "teach to the test" or focus on "test-taking tips". However, I don't want them to be bogged down in not understanding what is going on.


Any things I should do to prepare them?





PS They are taking the Iowa tests.

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Working through a test prep book should be plenty to prepare. Filling in the bubbles and remembering to write their name on their paper is pretty much all you need.

Some other things we did:

talk about how to eliminate multiple choice answers and make an educated guess

have them answer the ones they know first and then go back and answer the ones they are unsure about


Good luck!

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I actually did nothing to prepare my kids for their Stanford tests.  They did well.  I considered the tests preparation for future tests because my kids were 4th-5th grade when they began taking the Stanford.  I did believe that I got accurate results. 

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nothing wrong with test taking tips...


1. IOWA is a timed test if I recall correctly.  So, when you do the practice tests, time them.  that way they get the idea that they might not finish a section.

2. teach them how to fill in bubbles correctly and not to write in test booklet please.  use scratch paper, please?!?!  (I proctor Stanford tests on a regular basis for homeschool families and this drives me nuts when they write in books because I have to erase it to send it back...  of course with some of youngest levels, they do answer in book instead of answer document but I mean working out the math problems, or underlining stuff..   don't do that. please!!!!!!!!!!!)

3. and what meghan said with how to eliminate an answer.  

4. let the students know sometimes it might seem like material you haven't covered, but you might be able to know the answer from the chart or paragraph.

5. don't spend too long on any one question

6. make sure you are answering the question on the sheet that is on the test (in other words, if it is Q #6, make sure you are on row #6 of answer document)

7. have them make sure that when they turn the page to go on.. that the number of the next problem is in order.  In other words, I've had some of my testing students skip a page in the book because they didn't turn just one page..  I'm one of those proctors who try to walk around and make sure that doesn't happen, but you know.... all it takes is "I did problem 8 and the next problem is number 12?  oops..  I missed a page.. "    the thing of it is, most kids know that, but with the pressure of the test, they miss that.



do that and that will go a long way to making sure the results reflect their abilities.   get some sleep, eat normal. 




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Agree with above.


Also - know that grammar, spelling and punctuation are tested in an editing format, which is a different skill than actually knowing how to write properly. The first two times we tested, I didn't go over editing with my child and it really showed.

And - for some crazy reason - most tests like to test punctuation in a letter format. Outdated, in my opinion. But I would make sure my child was familiar wiht how to use commas in a formal letter.

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