- Don’t mess with your routine the day of:
A lot of resources suggest making sure that you have a good breakfast the day of the test. Making sure that you have some food in your stomach is good, but don’t go crazy with a carb-loaded breakfast if that’s not something you are used to in the morning. If you usually skip breakfast, maybe try incorporating something small into your diet like a protein bar. Otherwise, you may end up with a distracting stomachache throughout the whole test! This shouldn’t be you on the day of the test because of stomach pain!
- If you can bring a snack-DO IT! Longer standardized tests usually allow for a snack break in the middle of the exam. Take advantage of this time to refuel, ESPECIALLY if you are one to not eat a big breakfast. The last thing you need on test day is to not be able to think straight because of hunger!
- Time Management:
If you become stuck on a question, just move on. It’s worth the risk of missing that one question rather than missing all the other questions you didn’t have time for. **Bring a watch just in case there is not a clock in the room!**
- CHECK YOUR ANSWERS! I always hated doing this on tests. I always just wanted the exam to be OVER! However, there were many a time that I went back and found a question that I had gotten wrong. This is a great way to save you a few points.
- Don’t lose hope or confidence: Most importantly, these standardized tests do not determine your self-worth. The way that you perform on a standardized test may not reflect the type of student you are normally, and that’s OK. In a 2015 interview for the Washington Post, Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho stated, “We can’t assess our way to academic excellence”1. Your academic success is separate from your standardized testing success. Standardized tests are just a small part of what makes up a student’s academic portfolio.
Hopefully, these tools will allow some of your nerves to ease about standardized tests! If anyone has a specific standardized test that they would like me to do a blog concentrated on, please let me know!
An organized handout from a school in Ohio about Standardized Testing tips and secrets- http://fhs.findlaycityschools.org/parent/StandardizedTestSecrets.pdf
1 Layton, Lindsey. “Study says standardized testing is overwhelming nation’s public schools.” The Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-says-standardized-testing-is-overwhelming-nations-public-schools/2015/10/24/8a22092c-79ae-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html?utm_term=.2956b9d2f7fa.