Volume 5 #4 April
Passing state-wide required tests is the bane of the existence of most students, but the worst for those with reading problems. Here are a couple of techniques that help.
For multiple-choice tests
Go through quickly and answer any that you are sure of. Then go back and look at the ones you might not be so sure of. Try to solve them if you can, picking what looks like the most sensible answer. Next, go back to the beginning again and fill in all the rest, using the following strategy: choose the answer that is the longest! If you don’t believe this, look at that old standby in the Reader’s Digest called “It pays to increase your word power” In the great majority of questions, the longest is the correct one.
Is this cheating? Not on your life. You will be playing the odds in a myriad of ways the rest of your life, and if you are a bright kid who is way behind in reading, it is the teacher’s fault, not yours, because she didn’t have a clue as to how to help you. You shouldn’t have to pay for what she did (or didn’t do.)
For a test with a paragraph to read followed by questions based on the material.
Read through all the questions first. Go back and read the whole paragraph. Now go back to question number one. Pick out the most obvious word, preferably the subject, go back into the material and find that word. Read the sentence it is embedded in and slowly make out what it is saying. Then answer the question. Repeat with the rest, one at a time.
This is a trick that was told me years ago by an exceptionally bright student. The technique of reading questions first is a good one for studying any textbook. Read the questions at the end of the chapter. Then go back and read the sub-headings and the script under the illustrations. After all that, you have a pretty good idea of what is in the chapter and which paragraphs are about each question.
And you wouldn’t believe now many kids actually think it is cheating to read the questions first!