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Test Prep & Review Strategies for Grades 6-8

Help Students Prepare For and Take Tests of All Kinds

Found In: all subjects, 6-8

These resources provide solutions to common test prep and test-taking problems.

Help students relax and gain confidence, study more effectively, perform better on tests, and most importantly...increase learning.

Test Preparation

Allaying Students' Anxieties about Tests
Learn how you can reduce student anxiety and enhance their performance on exams.

Standardized Test Preparation
Suggestions for reducing test anxiety, teaching test-taking tactics, and integrating test-preparation with year-round curriculum.

No Pain, High Gain: Standardized Test Preparation
The authors share their methods for making connections between good test-taking practices and good general-learning practices.

Checklist: Test-Taking Strategies for Middle and High School Students
Test-taking strategies for students to maximize their performance on standardized tests.

Test Taking

“Test-Time” Strategies for Students, Parents, and Teachers ( PDF, 2.1 MB, 7 PP)
Before, during, and after tips for testing as well as ways to reduce anxiety.

Review Strategies

Make Test Review Fun! Help Your Students Review Test Materials with Games
Two interactive games to help students review concepts in the days before testing.

Review Games
Thirteen teachers describe classroom review games.

Free Flash Jeopardy Review Generator
All the tools needed to create a Jeopardy review game. Play online or on a SmartBoard.

Testing as a Learning Tool

Tests get high marks as a learning tool
An overview of recent research yielding evidence that regular testing can be an effective teaching tool.

Pop quiz: Testing earns high marks as learning tool
Jeffrey D. Karpicke's research shows that students learn more when taking tests compared to studying.

Using Video Games as a Stealth Teaching Tool
Discusses creating video games with educational content and assessment tools integrated into them and to incorporating the games into school curricula.

Research Papers on Testing as a Learning Tool

Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping ( PDF, 475 KB, 7 PP)
Educators rely heavily on learning activities that encourage elaborative studying, while activities that require students to practice retrieving and reconstructing knowledge are used less frequently. This study shows that practicing retrieval produces greater gains in meaningful learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping.

Metacognitive Strategies in Student Learning: Do Students Practice Retrieval When They Study on Their Own? ( PDF, 190 KB, 10 PP)
This study concluded that a majority of students repeatedly read their notes or textbook (despite the limited benefits of this strategy), but relatively few engage in self-testing or retrieval practice while studying.

Metacognitive Control and Strategy Selection: Deciding to Practice Retrieval During Learning ( PDF, 772 KB, 18 PP)
This study identified a compelling metacognitive illusion that occurs during self-regulated learning: Once students can recall an item they tend to believe they have “learned” it, which leads students to terminate practice rather than practice retrieval. Terminating practice is a strategy choice that ultimately results in poor retention. Keywords: retrieval practice, metacognition, self-regulated learning, study-time allocation, learning.

Examining the Testing Effect with Open- and Closed-Book Tests ( PDF, 142 KB, 16 PP)
This study found that open-book testing led to better initial performance than closed-book testing, but this benefit did not persist and both types of testing produced equivalent retention on a delayed test.

Correcting a Metacognitive Error: Feedback Increases Retention of Low-Confidence Correct Responses ( PDF, 465 KB, 11 PP)
This study found that feedback improved retention by allowing subjects to correct initially erroneous responses. Of more importance, feedback also doubled the retention of correct low-confidence responses, relative to providing no feedback.

The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning ( PDF, 260 KB, 4 PP)
This study found that repeated studying after learning had no effect on delayed recall, but that repeated testing produced a large positive effect.

The Effect of Type and Timing of Feedback on Learning From Multiple-Choice Tests ( PDF, 170 KB, 9 PP)
This study suggests that delaying the presentation of feedback after a test is beneficial to learning because of the spaced presentation of information.

Expanding Retrieval Practice Promotes Short-Term Retention, but Equally Spaced Retrieval Enhances Long-Term Retention ( PDF, 114 KB, 16 PP)
This study concluded that expanding the interval between repeated tests had little effect on long-term retention in 3 experiments.

Repeated retrieval during learning is the key to long-term retention ( PDF, 261 KB, 12 PP)
This study concluded that repeated recall of previously recalled items enhanced retention by more than 100% relative to dropping those items from further testing. Repeated retrieval of information is the key to long-term retention.

The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice ( PDF, 788 KB, 30 Pgs.)
This study concludes that frequent testing in the classroom may boost educational achievement at all levels of education.

Test-Enhanced Learning: Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention ( PDF, 121 KB, 7 pgs.)
This study concluded that testing is a powerful means of improving learning, not just assessing it.

Publications: Cognition and Learning Laboratory offers the latest research.

last updated: February 12, 2018


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