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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Grades 3 to 8 Math State Exam Test Taking Strategies
Small Group Classes Begin this weekend!
Kweller Prep –– Math Test-Taking Strategies
1. Underline key parts of the questions as you read.
-What is the question asking me?
-What do I need to figure out in
order to get my final answer?
you get this intermediate answer, make sure you solve the question to
completion!! Often times, one of the answer choices will be the answer to one
of the steps but not to the whole question.
-What information do I already know?
2. Use the Process of Elimination.
eliminate any answers that are definitely outside the reasonable range.
-For example, if a problem asks for 4/7 or 5/8 of a
number, eliminate any answers that are less
than half of the original number. Similarly, if it asks for 2/5 or 3/7, eliminate
any answers that are more than half
of the original number.
3. Plug in the answer choices to see which one works.
-Do this if:
a) You have no idea how to do the
b) You know it will take a long
time/long calculations to get the answer systematically
first use the process of elimination;
then use the Plug In method with the remaining choices.
method is good for age problems (eg:
“Jane is 3 years older than twice her brother’s age…”), coin problems (eg: “I have
75 cents. I have 49 coins. How many dimes do I have?”), etc. – any type of
problem that involves multiple combinations of things or isn’t easily
4. Simplify your numbers as you work!
-Use fractions rather than decimals or percentages
(because they might reduce).
5. VERY CLEARLY SHOW YOUR WORK.
in longer problems, it is essential
that you work in an organized fashion so that you don’t get confused. Every
time you calculate a number, jot down what that number means (Is it number of
items purchased, the cost per item, or the total cost? Keep track of these
6. Look for patterns.
question requires extensive calculations: try to look for a pattern over a smaller set of numbers and then apply
it to the more complex conditions of the question itself. If all else fails,
guess and move on.
6. Check your answers.
you have an answer, reread the question, plug in the answer, and see if it
7. Pace yourself – do not spend too much time on any particular
question. Skip it & go back to it later if you have time left over.
is perfect” – and that includes test makers. Sometimes, there ARE legitimate
mistakes in tests, and it is NOT worth it to waste your time if you really
cannot solve a problem.
8. If you have no clue how to
solve a question, GUESS. Do not
leave ANY blank.
-If you can, eliminate some choices and then make
your best guess.
-If you cannot eliminate any
choices, guess the SAME letter for all remaining questions; eg: If you cannot
solve 5 questions by the end of the test, put down B or C for ALL of them; do