Active Test Taking Strategies | Nurturing Wisdom Tutoring

Using Active Strategies

ACT SheetI’ve coached many tutors on how to teach students our Nurturing Wisdom test preparation strategies. Almost every time I go through these strategies with my tutors, I hear them say, “I wish that I had known these strategies when I took this test!”

Why do I hear this comment so often? Because our strategies are simple, but effective. They are so effective that our tutors realize their usefulness as soon as they see them for the first time.

With our approach to test preparation, we’re not teaching students “tricks” for the different sections of a standardized test. Instead, we’re teaching them how to approach each section. Even more, we’re teaching them how to attack each section—how to rip it apart with strategies so that the material doesn’t look as intimidating or complicated.

The ACT reading section is a good example of how helpful test-taking strategies can be. Many of my students have an incredible amount of anxiety about this section because the reading passages are intimidating and the timing is very tight. I often hear, “I’m never going to get through this section in time!”

To alleviate this fear, I start by teaching my students some very basic strategies, such as reading for the main idea and using active reading strategies to create a map of the passage. These strategies help students locate answers more quickly. As we progress through the program, I teach my students to write all over this section. I want them eliminating incorrect answer choices, underlining, circling names, whatever it takes to help them understand these passages and questions more easily. I also stress to my students that depending on their starting score, they may not even need to finish the entire section in order to achieve their goal score!

As a test prep tutor who has helped numerous kids with standardized tests, I have seen the trend time and time again: the students who embrace and apply the strategies they have learned when taking their actual tests feel more confident with each section and score better in the end.

This is not to say that test-taking strategies are the only way to help students improve their scores. Our test prep programs also incorporate work on test content, timing, and test anxiety. We use a holistic approach covering all four of these elements in order to help students do their absolute best.

We’re happy to help your child do his/her absolute best as well! Learn more about how we help students achieve their goals on challenging standardized tests!