Test is tomorrow. I have butterflies..

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i need some encouragement...THANK YOU in advance.

  • Test is tomorrow. I have butterflies.. -

    Yesterday, you received lots of well wishes, prayers (that continue), and some interesting websites to scan/read:

    Just relax, know that you have prepared well, get a good night's sleep, eat a really good breakfast, and trust yourself.


  • Test is tomorrow. I have butterflies.. -

    This may not post because I'm going to try "cut & paste" but I had many suggestions for my students. If it doesn't post, next time I'll type it out again.



    Question: What methods can I use to prepare for exams, and what can I do to keep from blanking out?

    Success with tests depends entirely on the student and the student's particular study habits and general learning style. You have to decide first of all which way you remember things the best.

    There are some students who learn best by hearing. This is the type of person who may study best in a group or with a partner. A visual learner studies best by taking good notes and going over them, not just reading them, but grouping facts together to support main ideas.

    Whatever your learning style, waiting until the last night to study for tests last night is not good, because "cramming" for a test is not nearly as effective as preparing yourself over a period of time, learning and digesting things that were learned each day. That means thinking and trying to determine the most important ideas in the chapter.

    It go without saying that you must do your homework on a daily basis, but when it comes to exam time, if you are studying for a language exam, then flash cards are very helpful, but they are not of much use for an English composition class. When preparing at the last minute, the best single technique I have found is to make up test questions for myself; what I am not able to answer in those questions tells me what I need to study.

    To help with remembering, here are a few tips.

    1. The night before a test, read over your material, but go to bed early and put the test out of your mind.
    2. The morning of the test, eat a good breakfast.
    3. When you first look at the test, focus on what you know. Answer the easy questions first, and you will start to gain confidence.

    4. When you see something you do not know, focus in your mind on the notes or material you read. Try to see how this question relates with what you do know. Sometimes it even helps to take a deep breath or close your eyes so that you will relax when attacking a question that is difficult.


    5. Answer every question the best way you know how. Do not leave blanks, unless the teacher counts off for wrong answers and not for incomplete ones. A lucky guess is better than a blank answer that is surely wrong.

    6. Check your work to make sure there are no careless mistakes. If you felt confident about your first answer, do not change it unless you are positive you were wrong.

    Sometimes we go blank on a test because we stress out. The most important thing you can do for test anxiety is to be prepared! A lack of confidence about the material is the number one reason people feel anxious about taking tests.

    You are not the first person to experience "blacking out" when a test is put in front of you. I used to react the same way (and sometimes still do), but I am much better now! I have learned to use stress reduction techniques and positive thinking to help psych myself up for a test.

    Some common techniques to reduce test anxiety include these:
    - Study in surroundings that are as close as possible to the "test room."
    - Study a little bit each day instead of cramming last minute.
    - Arrive prepared and early for a test (enough time to clear your mind).
    - Do not study right before the test. Use the time to relax.
    - Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing, visualization, concentration, muscle tensing and relaxing, and positive thoughts to calm yourself before you even pick up the test.
    - Give yourself 5-10 minutes to look over the test. Spend the entire time looking at the test as a whole. Identify which parts of the test will be the easiest and which will be the hardest.
    - When your 5-10 minutes are up, start out with a couple of easy questions to get yourself rolling. Move to the more difficult questions once you are feeling more relaxed and confident.

    PART II:

    Question: What methods can I use to prepare for exams?

    Organization is very important when you have a great deal of information to study. I recommend these methods:

    1) Review your old tests. Make corrections if you have not already done so to avoid repeating your mistakes.

    2) Go over your class notes. If you do not understand something you have written, or if you have "holes" in your notes, ask your teacher for help.

    3) Try to anticipate the kinds of questions your teacher will ask on the test. Make out some sample questions or even entire tests.

    4) Review the chapters in your textbook that the test will cover. Pay particular attention to boldface terms, chapter summaries, and questions in the text.

    Most important of all is the recommendation that you understand there is no easy way to prepare for this kind of major test. After all, the time you spend in preparing should pay off when you do well on the test.

    Set aside time each day to work on your subjects. Even if you are all caught up, spend the time to go over notes or your textbook.

    Tell your teacher that you would like to talk about your progress in class, and ask for suggestions on how you can do better.

    Go to the library and check out books that are on the same topic you are studying in class.

    Pay attention in class no matter what is going on around you. This will be hard, but if you can concentrate on what your teacher is saying you will learn the facts and skills that you will find later in tests.

    Keeping up with homework and participating in class are very important.

    As for TESTS, here are a few suggestions to help you:

    1) Talk with your teachers about your concerns. They really want you to do well and are more than willing to help!

    2) What type of test is most difficult for you? Do you do better on essays than you do on multiple choice questions? Decide which type of test gives you the most problems. Then you can learn techniques for taking that kind of test.

    3) Are you studying effectively for your exams? Here are some ideas that will make a difference.

    A). Make sure you know what material will be covered on the exam. There is nothing worse than studying for hours only to find out you were doing the wrong chapters.

    B) Go over your notes.

    C) Do not wait until the last minute to study.

    D) Try to tie all your information into a big picture in your head. Visualize information.

    E) Get a good sleep the night before, and eat a nourishing breakfast.

    F) When you first sit down to a test, start answering something, anything, immediately. Once you start, you will be on a roll.

    4) Do not get discouraged!


    Some students get nervous when they are taking a timed test, like seeing how many problems can be done in five minutes. Here is my advice:

    1. Relax
    2. Ignore the clock
    3. Pretend you have all the time in the world
    4. Don't worry about it.

    Do I think timed tests are fair? It depends.

    Are you being graded on how much progress you make? If you make an "A" because you got a better time than you did two weeks ago, then it is fair.

    But if you are being graded in comparison with everyone else in class, then it is not fair. Some students cannot do their math facts as quickly as others, and they should not be penalized for it. If you never do well on timed tests, but you do well on untimed tests, you might want to talk to your teacher or counselor and ask to be graded on how well you do on the total test.

    Experiment with a parent or a special adult to see if you can come up with a method of testing your speed that works better. Here is an idea if you can work fast in short spurts:

    1. Your dad has a stop watch
    2. He says start & clicks the button
    3. You do ten problems and say stop

    4. He clicks and writes down your time.
    5. You get up, jump up and down, then sit down.
    6. Do this for the rest of the sheet, ten at a time with breaks
    7. After the last group, your dad can add up the times.

    Experiment. You might like groups of 20 problems better. Practice doing longer and longer groups until you are comfortable doing an entire test at once. If you do better doing your facts in groups with breaks, ask your dad if he will come to school with you and show the teacher how well you do, using one of the teacher's sheets this time.

    If you can do 100 problems in five minutes (broken up into short time groups), then your teacher should give you the same grade she would give someone else for doing 100 problems in one long five-minute group.

    If these ideas do not work, talk to your teacher or counselor. Ask if she can just let you do the entire test and take as long as it takes (this takes away the stress of the timing), and grade you on improvement from the last time you did it. Alternatively, she could use a ratio: if it took you 6 minutes to do 100 problems, it probably would have taken you 5 minutes to do 5/6 of the problems.

    I believe that timed tests are not a sign of intelligence. I have Attention Deficit, and lost points on my Graduate Record Exam because I ran out of time. I knew how to do the remaining questions, but had to guess quickly to get a score.

    We do not give timed tests at our literacy council, even when test directions say to. One big test publisher (CTB McGraw Hill Publishing) told me that time limits should not be used on their standardized tests when a student has one or more suspected LD (Learning Difficulties or Learning Differences). So, if I am giving the math section of the test, and it says that a typical student will be done in 8 minutes, and my student takes 15 minutes, I let him. Most of the time, the student takes less than the time limit when he doesn't know about it.

    Anyway, my biggest suggestion is talk to your teacher or to your counselor.


    You should be able to work something out. It is a fact that some people react negatively to timed tests and do better without the pressure.


    Every year, it's the same old thing. You promise yourself that things are going to be different. When the teacher announces a test, you vow to study. Then, when the first test comes along you study for about half an hour the day it's announced, and never look at the work again. The day before the test you try to go through everything, but realize that there is a lot of material you don't know. Oh well.....you'll try again next time.

    If you have good intentions then you can succeed. What you need is a plan. Doing too much can be just as bad as not doing enough. It's called overkill. A good plan will help you build up to the test so that you don't peak too early. Think of it as training for a race. All the sessions up to the test are the training sessions. The test is the real race.

    Athletes have very good training programs. They spend a lot of time preparing before they run a race. Special programs that are designed for them vary what they do at different times. You need to develop a plan that lets you build up to the real race. Divide the task into manageable parts, and then decide how to schedule them for studying. We'll talk more about this as we go along.



    Have you ever gotten a cold chill when a teacher announced a test? You aren't the first!

    There are many people who become very anxious when they know they have to prepare for and take a test. It isn't because they don't know the work, or aren't smart. Sometimes, these people are VERY smart. Although they are able to perform in the classroom, and do a great job on homework, they just can't take a test. Does this sound like you?

    If you panic when you hear that "T" word, just take a deep breath. There are many ways in which to overcome your fear. The first thing you have to do, is figure out why you fear tests.



    Why are you afraid of tests? Have you ever really thought about it?

    Here is a little list. Go through it one item at a time and be honest! Help yourself diagnose your fear, and then set out to overcome it.

    1) You never seem to get the right information about what the test will cover.
    2) You almost never pass a test.
    3) You always say you'll study, but you never do.
    4) You can't take good notes.
    5) You can't understand your textbooks.
    6) You think you know the work, but you "freeze" on the day of the test.
    7) You don't know how to study.

    Figure out which problems seem to be the closest to the ones you are experiencing. Be honest! Then, read on in this area and learn how to help yourself.


    Most teachers announce a test date early enough to give you time to prepare. They usually tell you which chapter(s) will be covered when the test is announced. How well do you listen?

    There are several important items that a teacher will mention when he/she announces an upcoming test. Number one is the date. Then, he/she usually states the chapter(s), pages in your text and whether your notes will be important. Sometimes, teachers also tell you the format of the test. As an example, he/she might state that it will be all multiple choice, or a combination of multiple choice, matching, and fill-ins. What do you do with all this information?

    The first thing you should do is write down the date of the test. One good way to keep track is by writing the date on a little yellow post-it note and sticking it on the inside the front cover of your loose-leaf binder. Make sure you include the chapters it will be covering as well. What if you forget what chapter or pages are going to be covered? Think about what you have been learning in class. If you have been doing the third chapter in your math book for the last two weeks, then there is a good possibility that will be the material on the test. You can always call a friend to verify the information, but if you use your common sense, you will realize that the test will most likely be on the material you have most recently learned. If you are not sure how far back to go, look at your last test and see where it left off. That is one good reason to save old tests.


    As soon as you get home, on the day the teacher announces the test, make a note on a large calendar. That way you will not forget. Then, plan on studying a little bit everyday until the day of the test. Do not wait until the last minute.

    There! Now we have solved one problem. You know how to find out what is on the test.


    Some people say they never pass a test. Never is a strong word. It may seem like you never pass, but you probably do at times. Ask yourself a question: How hard do you really try?

    There's an old trick that evaluates the way someone looks at things they come up against in life. A glass of water sits on a table, and it has some water in it. A person is asked whether the cup is half-empty, or half-full. People who feel good about themselves usually say that the cup is half-full. Those that have negative attitudes say that it is half-empty. Is your cup half-full or half-empty when you prepare for a test?

    Perhaps it is time to sit down and take stock. You may not pass all of your tests, in fact, you may fail almost all of them. If, however, you are putting forth a real effort, and you try your best, then your cup is half-full. How can you fill it the rest of the way?

    It's always a good idea to start by discussing your problems with an adult. Your parents, teachers, or guidance counselor are all good choices to begin with. Ask your teacher if you can have modified tests. That means that you will be responsible for less of the covered material, or that you will only have to answer a certain number of questions. If she is agreeable, and your marks show improvement, ask her to gradually increase your responsibility. Perhaps you only need this kind of help in one subject. As you become more confident, and see that you CAN do the work, you will be able to tackle more of the material.

    If modified tests are not an option, and you feel that you are failing because you don't know the material, ask your school about finding you a peer tutor. Peer tutors are other students who know the material well. Sometimes, two young people can relate to each other much better than a young person and an adult.

    Remember....if you try your hardest and do everything you can to help yourself, then you are slowly filling your cup. Oh...and you haven't failed EVERY test you've ever taken. I remember the math test you got a hundred on in first grade :) I just can't remember all the others. But I bet YOU can!



    Every year, it's the same old thing. You promise yourself that things are going to be different. When the teacher announces a test, you vow to study. Then, when the first
    test comes along you study for about half an hour the day it's announced, and never look at the work again. The day before the test you try to go through everything, but realize that there is a lot of material you don't know. Oh well.....you'll try again next time.

    If you have good intentions then you can succeed. What you need is a plan. Doing too much can be just as bad as not doing enough. It's called overkill. A good plan will help you build up to the test so that you don't peak too early. Think of it as training for a race. All the sessions up to the test are the training sessions. The test is the real race.

    Athletes have very good training programs. They spend a lot of time preparing before they run a race. Special programs that are designed for them vary what they do at different times. You need to develop a plan that lets you build up to the real race. Divide the task into manageable parts, and then decide how to schedule them for studying. We'll talk more about this as we go along.


    You wouldn't believe how many people have trouble taking good notes. It's not only you!

    Note taking is a skill that has many different parts. If you are weak in any of them, your ability to take notes will suffer.

    First, you need to be a good listener. As the teacher speaks you have to be able to decide what is important, and what is not. You can't possibly write down every word the teacher says, so you have to decide which words to leave out. Since the teacher is busy talking, and you don't want to miss anything, you have to decide very quickly. When you write your notes, leave some space so that you can add things in. Skipping lines is often helpful. Perhaps you, or someone else will ask a question that will help explain, or give more information about something the teacher has said. You will want to insert it. Don't be afraid to use abbreviations so you can write more quickly. Use the ampersand, &, sign. Write numbers as numerals instead of words. You don't have to write full sentences. If your teacher is discussing a topic and using a word repeatedly, make up an abbreviation for it, and use it throughout.

    You also need to have a good memory. Some teachers speak very quickly. You must


    hold some words or ideas that the teacher says in your memory until you can write them down.

    Naturally, you have to be able to read your handwriting. You might write great notes, but if you can't read them you won't benefit from them.

    Rewriting your notes is an excellent way to review the material on a nightly basis. Copy your hastily written notes over again, and don't use abbreviations. Form good sentences, and check spelling of words you are unsure of. As you are writing you may think of other things the teacher mentioned. Good! Add those additional details to your notes. When you are finished rewriting your notes you'll find that much of their content will remain in your memory with less effort.

    If you find that taking notes continues to be difficult, ask one of the students in your class who is good at note taking to use some carbon paper that you furnish, and take notes for you. Some teachers will allow you to use a small tape recorder in class.

    Now....get out there and take some great notes if you can. Remember to keep your looseleaf neat and your papers in order so that it will be easy to study for tests without a lot of re-organization. After the test, remove those pages of notes from your looseleaf and place them in a folder.


    Not understanding your textbooks can be a big problem. The first thing you have to do is figure out why they are hard for you to use.

    Ask yourself two questions: Can I read the words? Can I understand what the words mean?

    If you can't read the words, then you need someone to work with you on reading. If the problem is caused because you come from a foreign speaking home (other than English), you can request help in your school. Children who don't speak English, or who are new to the country, need extra help learning to read. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll learn! If you are having trouble reading because you never learned the skill properly, then there is help for you too! Let your teacher and parents know that you can't read your books. The school can provide help so that you can improve your reading ability.

    What if you can read the words, but you don't understand what they mean? That is called comprehension. Some students are able to read every word on the page, but they don't understand the thoughts that the words represent. If that is your problem,


    you may need additional help, but there is also a way for you to help yourself. Difficult or new words are usually shown in bold or italic print in most textbooks. Some of those words are then re-written out at the margin or the bottom of the page with
    definitions. If you don't find the word there, then look in the glossary at the back of your book. Sometimes, you can figure out the meaning by using context clues.

    Take important words and facts and write them down on index cards. You can copy them exactly the way you see them in the book. Make a set of cards and study the facts everyday.

    You may not be able to understand your textbook completely, but if you have good notes from class, and study the important words and facts, you should be able to pass your test.


    You prepare, study, review, and go to sleep early the night before the test. You are ready to ace that test! Then, you walk into the room and everything flies out of your head.

    Some people become very nervous before a test. There are many reasons for this. You can be nervous because you haven't prepared, or because you don't feel you know the material. Perhaps you are nervous because you don't usually pass your tests and you are worried about failing again.

    You can try to relax by doing some special exercises. When the teacher hands you your test, close your eyes and DON'T LOOK at it. Instead, take five slow deep breaths. Each time you inhale make a fist, and as you exhale, open your fingers fully and relax your hands. After the fifth breath, open your eyes slowly, and focus on your hands. One hand is going to pick up that pencil or pen and write answers....GOOD answers, on your paper. Put that thought in your mind.

    Pick up your writing tool, and write your name on all papers. Read through the entire test. It will help to relax you. If you feel yourself beginning to panic, close your eyes again, and try the breathing. This isn't going to work perfectly the first time you try it, but if you keep using this technique, you may find yourself able to function without freezing up.


    Isn't is strange that when you are young, teachers announce a test and just assume that you know how to prepare? I wonder how many teachers have actually taught a second or third grader how to study for a test.

    Studying for a test is just like everything else you've learned in school. You have to be taught how to do it. There are many different ways to study, and every method doesn't
    work for every student. How can you learn what will work for you?

    Many people discover the best ways for them to study by trial and error. They experiment. Different techniques might be necessary for each subject. There is a section devoted to studying techniques in this area.



    No matter what you are doing, you always have to have a plan about how you are going to reach your goal. It can be as simple as planning the route you want to take when you walk to school or as difficult as planning your science project. A plan preparing for a test is very important because it will help you reach your goal of getting a passing grade.

    Your first step is to decide how to divide the time you have in which to prepare. Then, your plan should be placed on a large calendar.

    If you follow your plan carefully and are strict with yourself, you will be on the road to a passing grade.


    In order to implement your game plan you will need some special supplies. Ask an adult to take you to a large stationery store. Purchase a large calendar that can be hung on a wall or placed on a desk. It should have monthly pages with boxes large enough to write plenty of notes in.

    Get a box of colored, thin markers. Designate one color for each subject and write the "key" on the top of each page. (Example: Blue - Math, Black - History.) When a test is announced, write it on your calender in the correct color on the date it will be given. Then, in each box from the date it was announced until the day before the test, make a line in the correct color. Here is the way your calendar will look.

    | Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. |
    | 1 2 3 4 5 6 |
    | Math- 11 Chap. Rev. first 2 second 2 next 2 |
    | to check up lessons lessons |
    | 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 |
    |Review 6 Ask any Review Rest Class Review Good Luck |
    |lessions questions of unit Sleep Early |
    | |
    | 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 |

    This should help you get the idea of what your calendar should look like. It is very important to keep your calendar up to date. Make your entries as soon as you get home from school each day so you don't fall behind.


    A friend can be a very valuable asset when preparing for a test. Together, you can make certain that you know exactly what will be covered on the test, and plan how you will study. You don't have to study together all the time, but you should plan on touching base several times before the test.

    Each of you should make a list of things you don't understand. Then, try and go over them together and see if you can help each other. If both of you have difficulty understanding the same thing, go to the teacher. The teacher will appreciate the fact that you are working together and will probably try to explain it to both of you.

    Don't be afraid to give up a few minutes of your recess time to ask the teacher a question. Remember to write down what the teacher tells you, and if you still don't understand, don't be ashamed to let the teacher know. When she is giving a lesson to the whole class, she may not have the time to explain things several times, but when doing it with one or two students, she may be able to explain it in a different way that will help you.


    You probably think that your parents don't know enough to be able to help you. Most children think their parents know very little. I used to feel the same way!

    It's true that your parents may not know everything, but you'd be surprised at how much assistance they can give you at test time. They don't have to know the information to be able to quiz you on the material. Anyone can look at a textbook and

    ask you questions. The answers are right in front of them. Then, if there is something you don't understand, you can write it down and review it later.

    Parents are wonderful for quizzing you on spelling words and math facts. They can also help you memorize definitions for history and science words.

    When you know that your parents are right there supporting your efforts you begin to feel more sure of yourself. When you take the test and get nervous, you can try and hear your mother or father's soothing voice working with you. Then, SURPRISE! You'll remember the answer!



    Many teachers prepare multiple-choice tests. They are easy to mark, and offer the student the advantage of actually seeing what the correct answer is. There are important strategies for taking this type of test.

    The first, and most important thing to remember is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave out an answer on a multiple-choice test. If you leave it out it's wrong for sure...but if you guess, you have a chance of getting it right.

    Always read the question carefully. Take notice of words such as not and never. Make sure you are answering what the question is asking. Read ALL the choices before you select one....even if you think the first choice is correct.

    What happens if a question stumps you?

    Most multiple-choice tests include four possible choices. Out of those four, one is usually pretty ridiculous and can be eliminated right away. Then, you are left with three to select from. Look at each choice and ask yourself a question: Does this answer have anything to do with the question? You'll frequently find that you can eliminate another choice this way. Now, there are two answers left. If you have no idea, you'll have to guess. At least you've narrowed down the possibilities.

    It's always important to read through the entire test. Sometimes, you can get information from one question to help you answer another one. If there's something you really don't know, don't guess until you've read through the test. Then, if you still can't figure out the answer, guess.


    Depending on the grade you are in, fill-in tests can take different forms. All tests of this type require that you read a statement or question with a word or words omitted. You must then fill in the correct response to make the statement true.

    Some teachers will give you a word box. You will then select the correct choice to fill into the blank. Many teachers will put an extra choice into the box just to make things a bit interesting. Don't let it throw you! There are important strategies when you have a word box. If there are two blanks in the question you are working on, you will need a response with two words. It will be a related phrase...not two completely different choices...so beware. Some students look at a word box and fall apart. DON'T!! Read each question carefully. Forget the word box for the moment. As you read the questions, some of the answers may come to you immediately. That's great! Don't write the answers quite yet, though. Read through every fill-in question. Put a little dot next to each one you know for sure, without even looking at the word box. Then, go back and begin filling in the answers. After you use a choice in the box, cross it off. Answers are almost never used more than once. You'll probably be able to fill in several answers right away. Now you need to work on the rest.

    Read each question very carefully. If you need to, substitute every single choice in the word box into the statement. Eliminate whatever you can. Only pick answers that make sense. Read through the entire test to see if you can find answers within other questions. Sometimes, if there are multiple choice questions on another portion of the test, you can find some of your answers there.

    Work carefully. Here is where your memorization of definitions can make a big difference. Many fill-in type questions are actually definitions....especially on science tests. We'll talk more about memorizing definitions later.


    Most students think that true/false questions are really simple. That's not always the case. Some teachers want you to take your false answers and change them so that they are true. In order to do that, you need to know your material very well.

    First, let's understand what true/false questions are. The teacher will write a statement, and ask you to say whether it is true or false. Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it? Be careful. Your teacher may use words such as not, and never to confuse you. Read the question at least twice before you try to answer it. If it is true, then you're finished and can move on. Some teachers, however, want you to make false questions true by correcting the false statement.


    To make the false question true, you will have to figure out why the question is false. Here is an example: The Declaration Of Independence was signed in 1786. The answer is false....but why? You know that the Declaration Of Independence was signed in 1776. To make the statement true you would have to re-write the statement and say: The Declaration Of Independence was signed in 1776. Now, the statement is true, and you can move to the next question.

    Be careful when you work, and don't let yourself get frustrated. If you know that the statement is false, but can't make it true, just write false and move on. You will probably get partial credit for your answer. If you think you have an idea, write it. The worst that can happen is that you'll get it wrong, but if you are right, you'll have gained a few points.

    Whatever you do, NEVER leave out answers on true/false questions. You have a 50/50 chance of getting your answer right, so give it a try.


    Matching questions require that you know how two items are related. Let's look at an example:

    1) George Washington A) The first vice-president
    2) Benjamin Franklin B) Where the Declaration Of Independence was signed
    3) Benedict Arnold C) Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army
    4) New York City D) Author of the Constitution
    5) John Adams E) First Capital of the United States
    F) Author of Poor Richard's Almanac
    G) Traitor to the Continental Army

    First, notice that there are more choices than necessary. Most matching tests are prepared in this way. You are going to have to think carefully about some of the choices. Let's see if we can figure out the answers to the above test.

    Begin by reading all the items in each column. Then, see if there are any questions you are absolutely certain of. Answer those first. Let's begin with George Washington. Look at the other column. We know that George Washington was the first president, but that is not a choice. What other things do we know about him? Choices B and E can be eliminated, because they are obviously places. He was never a traitor to his country, so G is not correct either. That leaves us with A, C, D, and F. We know that Washington was the first president, not a vice-president, so A can be eliminated. Now, we can choose from C,D, and F. The only one that makes

    sense is that he was the Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army - choice C. Now that you have used that answer, we can go on.

    Benjamin Franklin is a person, so choices B and E can be eliminated because they are places. Choice C has already been used. That leaves us with A, D, F, and G. Benjamin Franklin was never a traitor, so that eliminates choice G. You should know that Benjamin Franklin was never a president or vice-president, so choice A can be eliminated as well. That leaves us with D and F. Do you remember what you studied? Franklin was the author of Poor Richard's Almanac, so the correct choice is G.

    Benedict Arnold is the third item in the list. Choices C and F have already been used. Choices B and E are locations and Benedict Arnold is a person. Now, the only choices left are A, D, and G. Benedict Arnold was never a president or a vice-president, so choice A can be eliminated. That leaves D and G. Try and remember what you studied. Benedict Arnold was a traitor who tried to give West Point to the British. When his plan failed, he returned to Britain. The correct choice is G.

    Item four is New York City. The only possible choices are B and E, as they are both locations. Even though you realize that only these two choices are possible, you still have to remember what you studied. New York City was the first capital of the United States, so the correct choice is E.

    The final item in the list is John Adams. There are only three choices left: A, B, and D. Choice B is a location, so that can be eliminated. That leaves A and D. Now you have to remember what you studied. John Adams was the first vice-president, so the correct choice is A. Two choices were not used, and you have finished the matching.


    There are times when the teacher will ask you to write a short answer in sentence form. These are usually explanation type questions. As an example, the teacher might ask: Explain the statement: Necessity is the mother of invention, and give an example. She indicates that there are three lines in which to write your answer.

    Always check to see how much space has been allowed for your reply. If a great deal of room is given, then the teacher probably wants a detailed response. If only two lines are given, however, then a good sentence will do. In the above example, the teacher wants you to explain a statement. Think about the statement and what it means. Then, write a good sentence. Remember to begin with a capital and end with a period. It helps if you restate the question in your answer.


    The statement: Necessity is the mother of invention means that when a need arises,

    and there is nothing to meet that need, people look for ways to invent something. A good example is the cotton gin because it allowed people to harvest more cotton and as a result more could be produced.

    Make sure you read the question carefully. After you write your response, go back and read the question again to make sure that you have really answered the question carefully.


    By the time you get to the fifth grade your teacher will expect you to write short essays to answer more involved questions. Short essays usually require that you give examples and support your statements. There's no way you can fudge this....you have to know it!

    The first thing you have to do is re-state the question. That will set the tone and direction for your entire essay. Plan your essay before you begin. Decide what examples you will be using and how you will use each one to support a statement you make. When you are finished you will need a good closing sentence that pulls everything together.

    Essays that are written for test answers need to follow all the good rules for writing. Begin each sentence with a capital letter and each with a period. Make sure your spelling is as accurate as you can get it. Write neatly so that your work can be appreciated for its content. Grammar should be checked. When you read your essay over, whisper it to yourself. Don't just glide over the words. Listen to what you are reading because it is much easier to catch errors that way.

    One of the most common comments that I hear students make is: "I meant to say that." That's all fine and well, but teachers can't grade you on what you mean to say. Make sure that your statements are clear and present the information that you want the teacher to see that you know.

    When you are studying for a test that will have an essay question on it, practice writing some essays beforehand. Your textbook will probably have some good essay questions at the end of the chapter. Ask an adult to check over your work, or ask your teacher to look at it at recess time. If you practice a few times, you will become very good at essay writing.




    Different subjects require different methods of studying. Just about all subjects, however, can be studied using your textbook.


    Studying math from your textbook means reading about the methods and then doing a lot of problems to practice. Math books usually have several examples showing all the steps in doing a problem. Study those examples carefully, especially if you don't understand how to do the problem. Go through each step. Look at it carefully until you understand how that part of the problem was obtained. Then, go to the next step. Don't go on until you understand how the book went from step one to step two. Continue until you get to the final step and the answer. If you feel you understand what to do, look at the next example and copy the problem, but don't look at the answer. Instead, do it one step at a time. Then, check your work against the example in the book. This is the best way to use your textbook to study math.


    When you want to study history from your textbook, you can try several different methods. Some students like to make a set of index cards with important dates and their significance. They also place people's names on those cards. You will also want to pay special attention to words that are in bold or italic print. Those words are usually important vocabulary words that your teacher will want you to know. They are usually defined either at the bottom of the page, or in the margin. If you can't find them there, look in the glossary at the back of the book. For review, answer the questions at the end of each section of the chapter, and then do the chapter review. Look back and make sure you find the right answers. If you can't find them, write down your questions and make sure you ask your teacher for help. Don't wait for the last minute.


    Studying science from a textbook is much like studying history. Follow the same rules, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. If you run into problems, write down your questions and ask your teacher.


    This is the kind of test where studying from your textbook must be supplemented with your notes. Reading over the selections that will be covered on the test is definitely important. Include vocabulary words in your studying, and make sure you read the

    information about the authors if your teacher requires it. The literature text, however, will not talk extensively about writing styles. You will have to rely on notes for that.


    If you talk to five different students and ask them how they memorize information for tests, you'll probably get five different answers!

    Some students say that they memorize information best by writing it over and over again. They will write vocabulary words with their meanings repeatedly. Some will write lists of dates with their significance. This method is often boring, and many students find that rather than concentrate on what they're doing, their minds wander.

    Using index cards with important facts to be memorized is often useful, in fact, you can make it into a game. Write pairs of identical index cards. On one card, place a date, person's name, or word to be definied. On the matching card, place the date's significance, the event associated with the person, or the definiation of the word. Shuffle the cards and place them face down. Then, eiether on your own, or with a friend, take turns flipping over pairs of cards, trying to remember where the matches are. It can be a lot of fun, and a great way to memorize the material. Naturally, you can't practice essay writing this way, but it's a great way to memorize the facts you need for short-answer questions.

    If you are trying to memorize math facts, (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division), try the above method. It's a lot of fun and works very well.


    Question: How can I do better on my spelling tests?

    Are you at the end of your rope,
    You study hard, but have little hope?
    Never fear, this is your day,
    So try them out; you can get an "A"!

    Here is what you need to do for each word on your spelling list:

    1. BOX the word in. We will use the word "solvers" throughout our examples.
    Draw a line all around the word that gives you some trouble.
    / solvers /


    2. PRACTICE saying that word phonetically.
    Sound the word out as you think it COULD be said:
    solvers = s ahl verz

    Here it is in graphic form and color-coded:

    / | \
    / | \
    s ohl vers

    3. PRACTICE writing each word four or more times.
    solvers solvers solvers solvers

    4. NEVER get upset.

    5. SPEND extra time on the difficult spelling words.

    6. PRACTICE different ways every day!

    7. PLAN to make more time to study the day before your spelling test.

    When you study spelling, you should have fun doing it. Each day, practice your words in a new way. The first day, you may want to write them on flashcards (which can be used for review later in the week). The second day, review the flashcards and write down your words; you may even want to write them in chalk outside. The third day, review the flashcards, write down the words, and say them aloud. In fact, your best bet is to say the word, spell the word, and say the word again, and do this out loud, so that you not only see the word, but you say and hear it, too. The fourth day, you may want to use shaving cream (with your parents' permission, of course) and write your words using that; for instance, you could spray some on a tray, squish it around, and then use your finger as a pencil to write down the words. On the fifth day, you are ready for your spelling test.

    As you can see, learning your spelling words is very important, but it does not have to be torture. Have fun while you learn, because that is what makes learning easier and more enjoyable. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. When the time comes for you to take the test, all you have to do is relax and take your time, because you know that you have done your best to learn your words and you will do well.


    Question: Can you give me tips on how to study for a semester math test?

    Two things will help you to be ready for a test that covers this much material.

    1) Be sure you know all the different terms and phrases that go along with each topic. For example, you will need to be confident that you know what principal is. You would not want to waste any time thinking, "Now which one is principal?" Review all definitions that you have been given. You may be able to find them in your notes or perhaps in your textbook. Along with this, I would suggest looking at how the questions are phrased. Be sure you know what to do if the question says, "Solve:" Look at old papers, text, or notes to see examples that you have done.

    2) Study by trying to solve two or three of each type of problem. You might write them on index cards, mix them up and then choose them randomly. You could just pick two or three old homework problems of each type.

    When you take the test, there are a few things that you can do to help:

    a) Look over the entire test quickly. If a problem seems very easy, do it first. This will build up your confidence, and you will feel better about the rest of the test.

    b) If you are stuck on a problem, skip it and come back later if you have time. Sometimes, when you first approach a problem you misread the instructions, or just make a careless mistake and wind up being stuck. Rather than wasting time on the one problem, move on, come back, and start over later. Perhaps you will see your mistake, and it will come easier the second time.


  • Test is tomorrow. I have butterflies.. -

    Sorry, no surprise that it would not post. Hopefully the test is "tomorrow" and not "today!" Here are some of the items my 37-page booklet contains. Ask for anything you think might help you and I'll be happy to retype it for you:

    Exams: How To Prepare (Part I & Part II)

    What To Do With Timed Tests

    You Want to Study But Don't

    Taking a Test and Fear Factir

    You Can't Take Good Notes

    You Don't Understand Your Textbook(s)

    Freezing On Test Day

    You Don't Know How To Study

    Help At Home

    Test-taking Techniques: Multiple-Choice, Fill-in Types, True-False, Matching Questions, Single-sentence Answers, Short Essay

    Different Subjects: Math, History, Science, Spelling Tests

    How To Memorize

    How To Take Notes

    Symbols To Use In Your Notes

    Checking Your Work

    Study Skills

    Thesis Statements

    Reading Comprehension Hints

    Getting Along With Teachers

    Anything else that worries you?


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