8 Tips New Test Takers Should Know

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I was determined to find a new way to review test taking tips with our third graders this school year.  As everyone knows, this is their first year taking the “Big Test.”  In the past, I have worked with third graders in small groups using student data for my ASCA National Model plan.  This year, the teachers requested a testing tips classroom guidance lesson for all of the students.  After looking through one of my favorite testing resources (Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! by Sandra Robinson) along with Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger by Janet Bender, I created this Testing Tips Foldable.

Both resources give many similar test taking tips.  Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger includes ten test prep cards.  I used a few of the test prep suggestions from Tyler Tames the Testing Tiger to create five of the flaps, and I used five of the discussion cards from the back of the Excite Me! Motivate Me! Test Me! book for the other five.  Here’s an explanation of each tip:

  • Be PreparedThis flap is where the students wrote important things to do like getting a good nights rest the night before and having a good breakfast the morning of the test.  They also included having number two pencils .
  • Reframe Your ThinkingSome students don’t believe they can do well on the test.  This flap includes positive self-talk such as  “I can do it” and “I am ready for the test.”
  • Stop, Look, and Listen– This flap reminds the students to be still, look at the test administrator, and listen to the directions.
  • No Fear– Many third graders are nervous about the unknown.  They also fear they will not go to fourth grade if they don’t pass.  As they wrote notes on the back of this flap about not being afraid and doing their best, I told them that these tests are just a small piece of data used to determine whether or not they will go to the next grade.  I also told them it is important to work hard throughout the school year because their quarterly grades are just as important.
  • Plug it In– This flap reminds students to use each of the multiple choice answers to fill in the blank.  Some won’t make sense and will help them narrow their choices down.
  • Jail the Detail– This flap reminds the students to circle or underline the key words in a test question.  They can look for the key words in the reading passage or determine how to solve a math problem by using this tip.
  • Stash the Trash– Many times, there are sentences included in test questions that really aren’t important.  This tip reminds students to cross out any unnecessary information.  This includes answer choices they already know don’t belong. This tip can also be called “Slash” the Trash.
  • Zap the Maps– Students sometimes don’t look closely at keys and legends on standerdized tests.  They will see a chart with four triangles and say the answer is four. However, one triangle equals 3 according to a key near the chart.  This makes the answer twelve.  This tip reminds them to pay attention to the key of a chart, graph, or map.
  • Pace Yourself– Our students are given PLENTY of time to take their tests.  That being said, they need to pace themselves.  This just means not rushing through the test and also watching the time and making sure they are not going too slow as well.
  • Check it out– This last flap reminds students to check over their answers when they have completed the test if there is time left.  If they have a bubble sheet, it’s also good to check it for stray marks.
Inside the foldable is a bulletin board idea from the “Testing Tiger” book (which I made a smaller version of) and four additional helpful tips for students to refer to as well from the Excite Me! book.  I used manila paper, made copies so lines would already be there, and pre-folded them. The students only needed to cut the lines to make each flap, and we were ready to begin.  Although the students were exited to decorate and add some “flavor” to the foldable, our class time focused on content.  They had time near the end to draw and color.









The former teacher in me can’t help but love the idea of using foldables in the classroom.  After I discovered them, I just had to find a way to incorporate a few into my school counseling program.  This is my first attempt, and I was excited to see it all come together. I’ll be sharing another one soon, so come back! I’d love to hear from you regarding test taking activities you’ve used.  Connect with me!

Template on TpTTemplate on TpT- Version 2

Like this idea but not sure how to make it?  No time to purchase the two resources mentioned in this post?  Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to purchase two versions of my template for just $3.50. All you’ll need to do is choose your 8.5 x 11 paper and copy!  The lines are provided for your students along with my very own tips for the inside!  (Please note- the product in my store can NOT have the same pictures on the inside as the example here on my blog due to copyright.  If you want the comics seen on the original project up top, you will need to purchase the two books mentioned and make the project from scratch with your students.)

Test Taking Scoot is also a fun to review and involves movement.

You may also like this Testing SMART Bingo Game.  It’s available for whole class or groups.  My Test Taking Board Game is also a great test taking tips reviewing tool.

The three products come in a Test Taking Bundle for a 20% savings.

ETA:  So after the fact, I realized I said there were only 8 tips, but low and behold there are 10!  Too late to change the blog title now, or no one will EVER find it! 🙂

Stick around!  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  You can also follow my TpT Store to keep up with my latest products and freebies

43 thoughts on “8 Tips New Test Takers Should Know

    • Hi, Doris! Yes, I made these with all five classes. All I had to do was copy the lines onto the manila paper. The students did the cutting. I did fold all of them ahead of time.

  1. Doing this with my IVE class (some of them still take the state assessment and are going for a standard diploma) and it is going fantastically!! We take a while to do each flap, but I am giving them 5 minutes at the end to decorate each flap as we go and they are loving it.

    plus, it taking us so long means less planning for me 🙂

    Thank you!

  2. Do you have the white sheets for the inside of the foldable on test taking? Also, could I have the words to include on the inside of the foldable sides of the paper. Love the idea for test taking and would love to make it with my class.

    Thanks for replying!

    • Hi, Suzanna! The white sheets came from the books I mentioned in the post, so I am unable to share those. I can share the words inside the flaps, but I will have to wait until I return to work later this week so I can be exact. It’s in a notebook in my office. I will email you.

      • Thank you in advance for sending the words to me. I hope the foldable helps encourage my students when testing rolls around. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

        Suzanna White

        • I would love to have the inside words as well if you could send them to me I would greatly appreciate it.

  3. So excited! I am a 4th grade teacher in a public school in the New Orleans area and am looking for great test taking strategies to share with my students! Love this idea and how it is a great visual that the students can create.

    I too would am wondering if you would pretty please send me words that go on the inside?

    Thanks Very Much,

    • Thanks so much for your posts. I am teaching cchildren Study Skills and Test taking strategies are so helpful. I would also love to have the wordings inside the flaps.
      I have ordered the 2 books.

  4. Love the idea. I have incorporated foldables in class this year. Could I also have a copy of the inside words?

  5. I just ordered the books you mentioned but would love the list of inside words that you emailed the others.

  6. I love this idea! Could you share what you had your students write on the inside of the foldable? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi, Gayle! I sent an email to you, but it came back to me. Is there a different email address I should use?

  7. What an awesome idea for reviewing test taking strategies! Would you email me what you have written on the inside? Thank you so much!

  8. My Elementary just asked me to share ideas with the students on how to deal with test taking. Could you please send me the inside words (on the white sheet)? I would love to use this idea. I have never used a foldable organizer like this. Great idea!

    • Kelly, I can’t send you whats on the white sheet because it came from the resources mentioned in the blog post and I made copies from the book. I did send you what was written behind each flap though.

  9. I love this idea and want to use it for testing with my students this year. Could you email me what goes on the inside?

  10. I would like to share this with my third grade team. Can you please email me the inside templates. Thank you and I think this is a wonderful tool for FCAT Prep!

  11. I LOVE this!!! I would really appreciate having the inside information emailed to me if you get a chance. Thank you!

  12. What a great idea! I’m getting ready to do this with all classes in grades 3-5 at my school! I’d love to see what’s on the back sides of the flaps.. does each kid individualize that or are there some things you tell them so they don’t miss it?
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great idea! I was wondering if you could send me what was written inside. We are preparing for our state exams and this would be a great resource for my third and fourth grade students.

  14. May I also get a copy of the words from the inside of the foldable. I plan on using this with my 3rd and 4th graders when we return from Spring Break.


  15. I love your blog as well. I am intereste in the inside flaps as well. Can you send me the same thing everyone else want? You are really great at what you do. For a new counselor without a shoulder to lean on, you are an awesome resource!

  16. I would love the comments on the inside of the flaps. I am planning on doing this with my 4th graders.

  17. Hi, Vanessa! Love this idea and plan to use it in my next lesson.
    Would you please email me the words for the inside of the folder. Thanks a bunch!

  18. Love this idea and am going to use it for FCAT Prep. Could you also email me the words for the inside of the flaps? Thanks for sharing.

  19. Pingback: Strategy #5 – Test Anxiety – lifewithrowanblog

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