Thursday, January 1, 2009

A great example of painless test prep

Kate at f(t) gave everyone a gift that keeps on giving this holiday season with her post T^3: Regents Review Done Right, detailing how to put together great test preparation for your students. I like her focus on showing students how the tests are scored, emphasizing that they need to write something and always simplify to get full credit. It's a skill that's important not just for standardized tests but for college-level math courses. Most professors will grade exams rather subjectively, giving partial credit whenever warranted.

Her approach is similar to what I've done over the years as the TAKS (the Texas version of New York's Regents) approaches, and also what I've done this year in SAT math prep courses. Students need just as much guidance in understanding how tests are structured, time management and how to study as they do in content. In other words, getting high scores on these kinds of standardized tests are less about knowing the content and more often about knowing how to take the test.

Work these ideas into your test prep planning this semester!