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JazzyMom

How Can I Help DS Improve Test-Taking Skills?

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DS is taking DE courses for the first time year.  He is doing all assigned reading, end of chapter quizzes, note-taking, etc.  He gets A’s on writing assignments, HW, and projects, but he scores poorly on tests.  

Last semester he scored low to high 70’s on 3 economics tests and managed a final grade of B.  He just had his first government exam and got a 67.  (If he does better on the next few tests, he should be able to get a B in the class.)  All of his test scores have been right around the class average, but I think he can do better.

I did not give him many tests while homeschooling, and I think the problem is his study skills/test-taking skills.  

Any sugggestions for specific ways to teach him how to study/take tests? 

 

 

 

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How old is your son? Has he had a lot of honors classes prior with live exams? Seems like he can do the work when he has unlimited time.  But  reading, thinking, and answering under time  pressure at the college level is different.  

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He is 18.  This is his senior year and is his first experience with live exams other than the SAT.  

I do think you’re right about the problem.  He had to prep hard for the SAT, and on the reading section, he could answer the questions correctly, but just couldn’t finish the section in time.  (Thankfully, he did really well on the other teo sections.). I’m not sure how to help him figure this out.

Edited by JazzyMom

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If it were math or science, I would suggest getting Schaum;s workbooks and doing problems under time restraints.  Government.  Is he using a text? If he reads the text carefully, he could learn to anticipate the questions that might be asked and have answers already mentally prepared.  I mean read every word on the page: the writing under the pictures, the footnotes.    Pay particular attention to "the reason why....",  "contrasted to...." type language.   Then have have a thought out mental answer to any question anywhere in the chapter or at the end of the chapter.  If his college text is not set out like this, maybe he could get a high school that covers the same material. Almost all major high school texts have these questions.  This is how my 8th grader preps.  I would estimate that at least %75 of the test questions can be anticipated.   Test taking takes practice.  good luk.  

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Thank you!!! This is the kind of advice I need.  I am going to work with him on this on Saturdays.  I am not as concerned about the grade he gets as I am about him learning the skill of test-taking.  I’m also going to have him practice essay tests.

If anyone else has ideas, please share.

Edited by JazzyMom

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I would actually suggest to go a step further and considering organizing his study notes from lecture, reading and homewrok using th Cornell method and writing out questions. Mental questions may not be as helpful for revision and study prep for a test if he is pressed for time. Then when you study, you can cover up the notes side/or fold it over and self- quiz on the questions and not have to spend time on figuring out how to self-quiz or what you don't know that you need to know. It would be easy to flag/highlight whatever he is shaky on as he goes along.

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