Essay Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies

Essay tests are a great way to evaluate student knowledge through all levels of thinking skills from What is…? to Interpret this. or Criticize that. Students will practice essay test-taking strategies using Boom Learning. 

Like all test types, essay questions have advantages as well as disadvantages. One advantage is students are less likely to guess. Another advantage is that students must study more to take this type of test. Students can also demonstrate their ability to organize thoughts, express opinions, and show creativity. Disadvantages for essay tests include they take a long time to grade plus grading is subjective. Another disadvantage is that essay tests cover only a small amount of content compared to selection types of tests. Continue Reading

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Fill-in-the-Blanks Test Taking Tips

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for Fill-in-the-Blanks Quizzes


Teaching Fill-in-the-Blanks Test Taking Tips can improve student performance on quizzes.

Giving Completion or Fill-in-the-Blanks tests is a great way to test knowledge level questions including recalling details. This type of test question is especially helpful for testing who, what, where, and when content. Another advantage is completion test questions minimizes guessing. Students who know they will be tested with completion questions are encouraged to spend more time studying because they have to come up with answers from memory in place of merely recognizing a correct answer that is presented. Continue Reading

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Brian’s Winter Figurative Language

Free Figurative Language Activity to use with Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

Brian’s Winter tells the story of what would have happened to Brian Robeson if the rescue plane had not come at the end of the book Hatchet. Author Gary Paulsen received hundreds of letters from readers who thought Brian had been rescued too soon. He should experience living in the Canadian wilderness during the winter months. Brian’s Winter is Paulsen’s alternate ending to Hatchet.

Using Gary Paulsen’s Writing as a Mentor Text

Gary Paulsen’s writing is a gold mine when it comes to teaching students how to enhance their narrative writings. Paulsen uses a lot of detail to take the reader into the character’s world. Rich descriptions, backstories, and character motives weave together pulling the reader into the story. Continue Reading

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Matching Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for Matching Quizzes

Matching tests are extremely popular. Matching questions work well for terms and definitions, phrases with other phrases, causes with effects, parts with larger units, and problems with solutions. Teaching students about matching test-taking strategies can greatly improve their performance on these tests.

One advantage of matching test items is students can show their knowledge of a lot of material in a short amount of time. Matching test questions are easy for teachers to create. Their biggest disadvantage is the questions are mostly knowledge level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Continue Reading

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True-False Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for True/False Quizzes

Teaching students True-False Test Taking Strategies can greatly improve their performance on quizzes and even standardized tests.  True/False tests are popular, easy for teachers to create, and even found on standardized tests. Although many students prefer this type of test, questions can be tricky. Learning what to look for can improve students’ abilities to achieve higher scores on True/False tests.

This series of blog posts provides practical test-taking strategies beginning with Part 1 Multiple Choice Tests. Part 2 goes over True/False tests. Come back each week to learn about  Matching, Fill in the Blanks, and Essay test-taking strategies. Continue Reading

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Multiple Choice Test Taking Strategies

Standardized Test Taking Strategies for Multiple Choice Quizzes

Even though many states are scaling back on spring testing, before the 2019/2020 school year standardized testing was mandated in all 50 states. Some states used PARCC or Smarter Balanced; some states created their own tests, and some used a hybrid of the two. On top of this, about half the states required students to take the SAT or ACT.[1] For the fall of 2021, three-fifths of 4-year colleges are test-optional.[2] Now politicians have asked to pause testing.[3]

Still, teachers are required to give grades and testing is likely to return. Preparing students to take tests is important as odds are students will take tests (whether standardized or not) throughout their school years. This series of blog posts provides practical test-taking strategies beginning with multiple-choice tests. This is the first of a five-part series. Come back each week to learn about True/False, Matching, Fill in the Blanks, and Essay test-taking strategies. Continue Reading

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Writing a Thesis Statement

Free Lesson on Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing a thesis statement is an extremely difficult skill for some students. This post provides step-by-step instructions. Student-friendly language helps students understand the concepts. To learn the rules, students watch a Google Slide presentation. While watching, they complete organizers. The printable organizers may be placed in an interactive notebook. Digital organizers are also provided. They may be housed on Google Drive. Students may use these organizers as reference tools any time they write essays.

So where to begin…. Continue Reading

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