Tackling Test Stress Tip 15: Have Some Strategies

It’s March Madness, so I have filled out my brackets and watched them completely fall apart! In years past, my strategy was to consider my choices, look for who seemed most obvious to win, then go with the team I wanted to win if it were a tough choice. This is actually a pretty good start to a strategy for students to apply to test taking.

See, students need to read every answer before they choose one. Then they should answer the obvious questions.
If they aren’t sure of the answer, they should rule out the choices they know are wrong, then pick the best answer that’s left.

That’s a lot like my bracketology in years past, which is why I typically have Duke to win it all. After being burned so many times, this year I resorted to cheating by copying most of the brackets from “experts”… you know what happened, right? Yup… Duke is still in it, and Kansas lost. That’ll teach me to change strategies!


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  1. Jen Brinson said:

    Porter – I’ve been loving your stress tips. Great series of posts. My brackets (should I have done them) would have fallen apart as well. I opted out this year because my Tarheels didn’t even make the tournament and the fact that Duke is still in it – just makes me ill! Next year is another year right? Keep up the great work!

  2. Andrew Zemaitis said:

    In recent years, I have faced an increasing number of students that do not come into my class with many skills when it comes to test-taking. They leave multiple choice blank. They do not respond to open-ended questions or writing prompts adequately. They do not come into my high school class prepared to tackle the work that eleventh graders are required to do. They do not leave that way. I teach my students a few strategies that work in the areas of multiple choice,open-ended and prompt responses. For instance, We practice how to handle multiple choice through the process of elimination of distractors and qualifiers. We practice as individuals, in groups and as a whole class. We can even turn it into a game. It becomes fun. In the end, they become better test takers. They still may not reach proficient but they are a step closer. I suppose they are closer to becoming Duke rather than being Kansas.

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