Fifth grade is an important year for building better test-taking skills. As students are ending their elementary-school years or beginning their middle-school career, test taking becomes more important. Knowing how to prepare well for a test as well as how to properly take a test can give fifth-grade students a head start on doing well. Understanding how to actively study and what test-taking strategies to use can be just as important as learning the material the test will cover.
Look Over the Test
Taking time to look over the entire test before beginning will help your child know what is coming and how much time to spend in each section. Reading over the test will also give your child a chance to ask the teacher any questions about directions or sections that may be unclear. The KidsHealth.org website reminds students to ask questions if something is unclear and not to panic. Getting help before the test starts can help reduce the overall stress of the test-taking process.
Read Directions Carefully
One of the easiest mistakes to make when taking tests is failing to read the directions for each test question carefully. Directions give all the steps necessary to complete each question properly, but leaving out important steps can result in a loss of points. Help your fifth-grader by reviewing difference types of test questions and how to follow specific directions. Paying attention to detail in this area will help your child be a more successful test taker.
Skip Difficult Items
Skipping over difficult items and coming back to them later is a key time-saving strategy for test taking. Fifth-grade students who linger over more challenging test items may fail to finish a test if they take too much time. Encourage your child to read the question thoroughly two times, and if they are still unsure of the answer or how to solve a problem, move on to the next item. But be sure they remember to go back to unanswered questions and try again before time is up.
Fifth-grade students who do well on tests and tend to finish early often make careless errors that can lower test scores. Going back over a test before turning it in can help students catch small errors that can make a big difference in their final grade. Encourage your child to review the test and the answers given if he finishes early rather than turning the test in and assuming everything is completed properly.
Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.