The Single Most Effective Test Taking Strategy

While teaching test-taking strategies to students for years, we’ve learned (and research supports our findings) that the number one test-taking strategy, hands down, is…drumroll please:

 learning a test-taking strategy

 That’s right – studies show that simply having mental access to a strategy can boost test scores. The reason for this is quite simple: students who enter a test feeling equipped with a tool to help them are more relaxed and confident. This self confidence translates directly into better test scores.

We love test-taking strategies at Syllables, and we teach lots of effective techniques to our students every day (how to make the best guess on a multiple choice question, how to prioritize testing time, etc.). But we also know that part of the testing solution is the confidence that these strategies provide our students.

Give your Child the “Home Team Advantage”

One of the best things you can do to help your child test better is to encourage them to say something positive to themselves before they begin a test. Encourage their affirmation to be fun. For instance:

“I am going to get an A on this test, and I’m the best looking kid in the seventh grade.”  

 Why is this important? The first part of this affirmation initiates positive thinking, and the second part brings on a chuckle (even if just internally). Laughter floods the brain with positive chemicals, eliminating anxiety and helping a student access their long-term memory.

Does this sound crazy to you? Well, think about the concept of a home team advantage. It’s a commonly-accepted fact that a sports team surrounded by cheering and adoring fans has a distinct advantage over its opponent. Teach your child to think positively before a test and you are giving them their own cheering section — a virtual home team advantage.

Students who complete Syllables Reading Center’s Test-Taking Curriculum develop skills that translate into higher test scores and confidence that dramatically reduces test-taking anxiety. Contact Us for more information or to enroll your child in one-on-one test strategy sessions.