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8 Math Testing Tips for State Assessments

Many students will soon be taking their state assessments.  And many are dreading the math test.  Test taking for math can go smoothly if students remember some important things.  I’ve prepared a list of math testing tips that are sure to give any student a sense of ease and a boost of confidence.

Math Testing Tips for State Assessments

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  1. READ, READ, READ!!!  Many students don’t understand the importance of reading when it comes to a math assessment.  But reading is vital!  Read the question fully before you begin to answer.  Read it more than once if necessary.  By completely reading the question, you may find that you do not have to do any calculations at all.
  2. Look for KEY words and given equations and formulas.  If you see the word ‘dozen‘, you may need to multiply by 12.  An equation or formula is given in a problem for a reason:  it is meant to be used in some way.
  3. Not all values are numerical.  Some may be written in words.  This causes issues for students who only skim a problem for numbers. 
  4. Eliminate incorrect answer choices immediately, if possible.  Once you’ve read the problem, look at the answer choices.  Eliminate any that are obviously incorrect. 
  5. Answer questions in order of difficulty.  No one says that you must do the test from front to back.  When students come across a difficult problem, they tend to dwell on it.  Work the easy problems first.  This not only eliminates stress, but gives you confidence that you can succeed at the test.  (Check out more about this testing strategy)
  6. DO NOT make assumptions about what the problem is asking for or about what the answer is.  Just because you’ve been given an equation, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to need to graph it.
  7. Use a calculator if and when you can.  Be sure to utilize it if you struggle with multiplication, division, and integers (positive and negative numbers).  Know when to use the calculator and what calculations to make.  **Remember, the calculator will only do what you tell it to do.
  8. Read and understand the labels and information presented in graphs, charts and tables.  Be sure to check for the scaling also.
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When following these tips, you make your test taking go smoother.  You eliminate stress and build confidence.  Best wishes to all students as you take your state assessments this year!
What other testing tips do you use?