Teaching Test-taking Skills: Helping Students Show what They Know
Test-wise individuals often score higher than others of equal ability who do not use effective test-taking skills. They use their knowledge of specific test formats and testing situations to show what they know! Test-taking skills training teaches general concepts about test formats and other conditions of testing.
Teaching Test-Taking Skills aims to improve the validity of the test. It makes scores more accurately reflect what students really know by making sure that students lose points only because they do not know the information. Teachers can focus on whether poor performance truly reflects students' low levels of knowledge or merely poor skills in applying what they know to tests. The authors have found that younger students, law-achieving students of all ages, and students from lower socioeconomic or minority backgrounds benefit particularly from test-taking skills training. Gains of 10-15 percentile points or six months of school achievement are common. Some individual gains are much greater.