My Student Is A Poor Test Taker
Students own their education outcomes including test performance. Students need to learn that taking ownership means owning the outcomes, regardless of the circumstances. If a student performs poorly on tests compared to other graded material, there are several possible reasons.
・Preparation Drives Exam Performance
Part of taking ownership as it relates to test results is being prepared. Students must be prepared for their tests, which includes but is not limited to, good study habits in and out of the classroom. Students must adopt a mental approach of going beyond the minimum.
・Lack of study results in poor test results
Quality study prior to a test is required in order to score well. Unfortunately, many teaching approaches rarely address study, define what it means to study nor enforce the need for it. Study means reviewing material repetitively to ensure that material is remembered.
・What constitutes good study habits?
Good study habits begin in the classroom with students being actively engaged in the classroom. Students must adopt study habits outside of the classroom that include practice, consistency and focus on mastery. Real change occurs when habits are changed.
・Students are not prepared for the test taking process
Additionally, students do best on tests when they do easier problems first and harder problems later. This is important because tackling easier problems first will build confidence.
・Homework results do not predict test results
Homework rarely predicts test results accurately. Taking a test bears no resemblance to homework and therefore the student must be prepared for this test taking process. Oftentimes homework is not challenging for students and is inadequate to prepare students.
・Be focused, calm and confident for better test results
Next, if your student has actively studied and prepared, then they should not be surprised by the material. A student needs to be calm and reflect on how and what they studied when encountering difficult questions.
・It is not just about “The Test” to do well on “The Test”
While it may seem contradictory, students who study “just for the test” do not perform well. Students who study and prepare with the goal of mastery of the material, do best.
・Mastery is a Mindset
And finally, the real lesson and key to doing well on tests, is to not focus on the test but on mastery of the topic. It is the student’s responsibility to take ownership of all outcomes, which means doing what is needed to master all aspects of the material.
Mastery is achieved and test performance is improved when students inquire beyond the bounds of what is presented to them.