Teaching Students About Test Run
As more and more students prepare for high-stakes tests, it’s essential to teach them about the importance of test runs. A test run is a practice test intended to simulate the actual test and help students identify their areas of strength and weakness. By engaging in test runs, students gain valuable insights into how they can perform on the actual test and what they need to do to improve.
The following tips will help teachers effectively teach students about test runs:
1. Explain the Benefits of Test Runs
Many students get nervous or anxious during exams, which can lead to poor performance. Test runs can help alleviate this stress by giving students an opportunity to become more familiar with the test format and question types. This practice will also help students understand how the test is scored and what types of responses will earn the most points. Furthermore, students who engage in test runs are better prepared to avoid simple mistakes that could negatively impact their test scores.
2. Choose High-Quality Test Materials
Getting students exposed to high-quality test materials that mimic the actual test is the key to an effective test run. This process can be tricky since teachers need to find materials that are similar to the real test. Some states have written their test materials, so it’s essential to consult the relevant authorities and gather their permission. Teachers should also try to use test runs from reputable sources like test-prep books or educational websites. These resources provide a good range of questions that align with the standards, format, and question types of the real test.
3. Create a Test-Run Schedule
Once teachers have gathered materials, it’s time to create a test-run schedule. Unlike regular classroom tests, students should have ample time to learn about the test and engage in meaningful practice before they complete the practice test. The teacher should talk the students through the practice test before they begin and provide specific tips for each section of the test. Prep time also allows the teacher to model behavioral expectations, such as time management and test-taking strategies.
4. Analyze Results
Analyzing results is crucial to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Teachers can use the data collected during the test run to rank students according to their performance levels, compare the gains to the previous test-run, and the actual test scores preceding the test. After analyzing the test-run results, the teacher can identify areas that students excel at, and which areas students need to improve on further.