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Education Connection
High School Pg.3

Test-Taking Tactics
When your child has a test, does he freeze with anxiety—even if he is prepared? On your teen's next exam day, help him feel calmer and more confident with these test-taking tricks.
  • Listen to (don't just read) directions. Teachers may point out important details, such as changes to written instructions or errors on the exam. After listening, scan the test to see how it's organized. Plan your time according to the number of questions and which sections are worth the most points.
  • Answer sample questions in each section for practice. Tackle objective, easier questions, like multiple choice, before essays. Put a pencil mark next to those you're not sure of, so you can go back if there's time. Unless wrong answers carry penalties, guess instead of leaving answers blank. On a true/false question, for example, you have a 50 percent chance of being right.
  • Whenever you're tempted to change an answer, remember that first reactions are usually right. If you're having trouble picking a multiple-choice answer, eliminate the ones you know are wrong to narrow your choices.
     

Hint: When answers on tests contain words such as "all," "none," "always," and "never," they are often incorrect. A correct answer is more apt to contain words like "usually," "sometimes," and "frequently."

Students and Cheating
Did you know that 74 percent of teens admit to cheating on an exam at least once in the past year? The pressure to cheat may be overwhelming for some kids when grades, college scholarships, and athletics participation are on the line. Academic dishonesty can occur in several ways. Here are some examples:
 

  • Using cell phones or pagers to get information during exams.
  • Finding out exam questions and answers before taking tests
  • Having other students do homework or write papers on their behalf.
     

Let your teenager know that a high grade gained by cheating isn't worth the low it could bring to her reputation and character. Together, brainstorm consequences for cheating. Then, be prepared to enforce them--and praise her for honest work.
 

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