Testing: What’s the Answer?

What is one of the ultimate aspects of high school classes, that pushes students to the maximum? Testing. Whether it is SBAs, HSGQEs, SATs, ACTs or regular class tests in general, they can be quite excruciating. The big question though, is: What can students do to overcome this excruciating feeling of taking tests? Study! It is probably common sense that someone would and should study for a test; however, not everyone does. According to Dimond High School Psychologist Melinda Greig-Walker, preparation is key. She says, “Test-taking is kind of like a race [in a sport]. [Testing is] the reflection of everything you’ve practiced.” Greig-Walker also notes that students should not just read information about the given topic, but look at what it is really talking about. She says to answer chapter questions, review the bold words throughout the chapter(s), practice every day and consistently ask questions. In the actual realm of taking tests, there are many strategies and skills to help students along. Dimond science teacher Laurel Stutzer says, “Go for the questions you [really] know, then go back and answer the ones you don’t know.” Greig-Walker says, “Look for the verb [in the question].” She notes that when students go into a test, they should have had a good rest, be thinking clearly and have a positive frame of mind about the topic/test subject(s). Greig-Walker says to carefully read the questions and answer them accurately. She also points out that when students first receive the test, they should look it over, then go back to the beginning, with some form of knowledge about the questions they need to answer. Numerous Dimond students do not have many “special strategies” for taking a test; however, they do have different ways of preparing for a test. Senior Casey Hill has a super strategy for preparing for tests. He says, “[First], I get my orc and walk it around a little. Then I feed my fish. [Then], I put myself in the world of avatar and study.” Junior Emily Olsen talks about using flash cards—“that always helps me.” Olsen also re-reads information and looks through her notes. Freshman Josepher Chen says, “I read the notes.” Miranda Valladolid, a Senior, says, “I go over notes and flashcards, and do it again right before the test.” Senior Kyle Dodson has an extremely strategic list of testing preparation skills. Dodson says, “I throw on some music… Preferably Taylor Swift. I put on a cut-off sleeveless top with comfortable jammies.” Dodson then gets a Gatorade, “preferably lemon lime, cuz’ those are the best.” Then Dodson sits in a comfy cushion, and commences to studying for his test. When he studies for reading tests, he likes to read aloud; when he studies for math tests, he likes to have his calculator—preferably on the left side, because he’s left handed.