It takes more than just academic ability to be a good test-taker. Some students spend countless, dedicated hours preparing for an exam or the SAT or the ACT, only to be disappointed with the results.
Here's the good news: when students learn to become better test-takers, they develop positive habits that last a lifetime. One-on-one tutoring and small group classes can provide students with strategies to approach exams both methodically and successfully. Below you'll find a handful of approaches to test-taking that not only have the potential to boost your student's test scores, but may also serve him or her in the world outside the classroom.
Plug Gaps in Foundational Skills
Improving foundational subject skills-math, reading comprehension, writing, etc.-can do wonders to improve overall test-taking performance. When students are equipped with all the academic building blocks necessary, they're empowered to perform in the short and long term. By reinforcing bedrock skills, one-on-one tutors and small group classes instill confidence and capableness in your child, creating a world of possibility for future academic success-from college entrance exams, to qualifying for scholarship awards, and beyond.
Nip Anxiety in the Bud
Of course, this bullet point is easier said than done. But parents and tutors can do much to foster a positive, effective, and can-do study environment. In fact, implementing structure, organization, prioritization, and time management skills encourages students to take agency in their learning, in turn easing much of the anxiety that comes from lack of preparedness or inefficient uses of study or test-taking time.
Do: Understand Concepts. Don't: Memorize Facts
In a pinch, a small cram-session to memorize a few key dates or formulas might come in handy, but a major reason why some high-achieving students balk come test-time is that they've overtaxed their short-term memory. In the stress of the moment, much of what a student has memorized can be lost. The wiser alternative? Approach studying holistically. When students understand all the moving parts of a particular concept-rather than a flashcard memorized tidbit-it's much harder to forget. Mapping out academic concepts is an excellent way for a student to meaningfully understand what he or she is learning.
At Vogel Prep, we work with students in a variety of settings-from small group classes to one-on-one tutoring, and more-to find the test-taking methods that work best for each individual. No two students are alike, so our tutors take a tailor-made approach to teaching that puts your child at the center.
In the short-term, these approaches to good test-taking can empower students to ace their next AP exam or the SAT/ACT, but what's more: instilling positive test-taking habits now will equip your child to face challenges, academic or otherwise, for years to come.