I begin the lesson by asking students to take a minute to list any test-taking tips they can. They speak of eating healthy foods, getting adequate amounts of sleep, having study sessions without distractions, not cramming, organizing notes, reviewing old tests, and taking study breaks. I, then, explain to them that during this lesson, we will discuss test-taking skills that they can do to help them excel on tests they take. I tell them it is important to always read the directions and look over the entire test. This will help them to understand what kind of test they will be taking - multiple choice, short answer, essay, matching, etc. I explain if they are taking a multiple choice test, they should read the question and try to determine the answer first before looking over the answer choices. They should also eliminate answers they immediately know are wrong answers and select from the answer choices that are left over. They should look for key words like "not" or "except." I tell them that essay tests are their opportunities to "show what they know." When writing an essay, they should, again, read the directions carefully and underline key verbs to help them know what type of essay they will be writing, and write neatly or type carefully. At the end of all tests, they should review their answers carefully. We, then, watch a short Brainpop video and take a comprehension quiz to check their understanding. (click here to watch the video) (Teacher facilitates the quiz as a whole group and students show answers using sign language.)
During this portion of the lesson, we do a "test-taking skills bee." I have students to line up across the front of the class like it's a "spelling bee." But, instead of spelling words, they take turns listing test-taking tips. They can't repeat what someone already said. The last student left standing is the winner.
To wrap-up the lesson, I have students to complete an exit slip on which they:
- List 3 things to do for your mind as far as test-taking tips.
- List 3 things to do for your body as far as test-taking tips.
- Where is your favorite place to study and why?
To close the lesson, scholars share the information they wrote on their exit slip as a whole group. This serves to reinforce what we have said, what they have heard, and what they have written (speaking, listening, writing).