Preparing Students for Tests
Good Assessment Strategiesby Pearson Education Development Group.
The words "assessment" and "testing" are often enough to send goose bumps up the arms of many students and teachers. By learning a few assessment strategies, however, you can help your students through even the most anxious moments and help them score higher in the process.
Assessment tools, which only measure a student’s knowledge at a given time, are of three main types: observations, portfolios and tests. Here’s a quick overview:
Observations and portfolios are often called "performance" or "authentic" assessment. Proponents of these assessment types believe these tools are most valuable because they not only test students’ ability to recall material, but also provide information about how students use that knowledge. The proponents point out that performance-based assessment more accurately evaluates higher-order thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, interpretation and evaluation.
Today’s educators know that tests, especially standardized tests, are being used more than ever to validate students’ learning. In many cases these tests also evaluate the teachers themselves. This is especially true now that state and national standards are so strongly embraced. And, indeed, standardized tests are subjected to rigorous screenings to ensure validity and reliability. In addition, they do facilitate comparisons among students and regions.
There is no question that standardized tests are here to stay. Take a look at the following strategies that can help you and your students prepare for them. Then choose those that seem best suited for your classroom and incorporate them into the curriculum. Remember to use the following strategies not just immediately before a test, but as ongoing elements that are interwoven into your daily routine: