Standardized Test Practice Tips

By Huntington Learning Center

Practice Makes Perfect When it Comes to Standardized Tests

With the implementation of the Common Core Standards in nearly every state, standardized testing is becoming more prevalent throughout all grade levels. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the standards and perform accordingly based on grade level expectations. Standardized test practice is an essential component of preparing for these exams because it boosts confidence and helps students know exactly what to expect on test day.

There are a variety of ways to implement standardized test practice. The professional tutors at Huntington Learning Centers implement a range of methods to prepare their students. Our favorite test prep tips include:

Practice both content and format

Simply understanding the assessed content isn't enough. If a student has never encountered authentic practice the format may present a significant roadblock. Students should understand and be familiar with how the test is administered, the best ways to answer different exam items, and the types of questions most likely to be on the exam. This knowledge allows your child to focus on the content being assessed instead of spending time trying to interpret confusing test directions and wrestling with the format. 

Require an explanation 

Asking your child to explain something is great practice for standardized tests and for learning in general. Knowing how to complete a question or arrive at an answer is just the first step.  A student must also be able to explain the answer to display full mastery on many standardized tests. Part of the standardized test preparation we offer at Huntington Learning Centers teaches students how to explain their work. Upon completing a math problem or arriving at a conclusion on a reading comprehension item students are often asked to explain the answer. We work alongside students to help them construct an explanation that shows how they arrived at an answer. This support is personalized and the amount of assistance provided is based on individual student needs.

Put old tests to good use

Many organizations that administer standardized tests publish previous forms for student use and practice. The old forms of a standardized test can be used in a variety of ways. Our professional tutors at Huntington Learning Centers use previous forms for initial assessment, targeted practice, and ongoing progress monitoring. They are also used to reinforce the different types of exam questions and to present test taking tips. When students have the opportunity to participate in a practice test under actual testing conditions they will gain confidence and an understanding of how the exam is administered.

Monitor ongoing student progress

Careful standardized test preparation should carefully monitor your student's progress. An initial assessment that identifies a student's strengths and areas of need is an ideal way to begin practicing. These assessment results are invaluable in determining what areas to focus on and a child's individual needs. The progress monitoring should be ongoing to understand how the learning needs may have changed. Our tutors use assessment results to create customized tutoring plans that meet the individual needs of every student. No two children are alike, no two students learn in the exact same way, and each of our students receives instruction based on assessment data and individual strengths and weaknesses. You can trust that your child will receive personalized instruction that mirrors the data from ongoing progress monitoring assessments.

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