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Test Taking Strategies

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Chistopher Longstaff

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of Test Taking Strategies

Test Taking Strategies
Test preparation takes place on the first day of class your freshman year.

*Taking Good Notes
*Paying Attention
*Completing Classwork and assignments

: The Keystone examination is nothing more than a way to prove that you have mastery over the skills your teachers have helped you obtain over the last 3 years. USE WHAT YOU KNOW!
Multiple Choice Questions
Read the question and underline just the FACTS.

Many times questions come in very long multi-faceted sentences that serve only to see if you can pull out the vital information necessary for answering the question correctly.


This is will help to focus your attention to the passages, language, and concepts tested after the reading.

You may write all over your test, underlining important facts while reading will make referencing the passages easier, and allow you to move back and forth between the questions and the reading with ease.

Eliminate Obviously Wrong Answers
1.) Even if you don't know the answer right away, take your time and look for the answers you know
CANNOT be correct

2.) Usually you can
eliminate two
of these, giving you only two others to decided between.

3.) Look over the question and answers again, and choose the question you deem to be the
best possible fit

4.) Even if you have to make an educated guess, the
probably of success has increased from 25% to 50%
Complete the Easy Questions First
1.) After each passage there are a few questions to answer.

Do not get stuck
on a difficult question, as this can ruin your motivation for finishing the test.

3.) Instead,
circle the question
, skip over it, and
complete those that are easiest first

4.) Then,
come back
to the question and
answer it to the best of your ability
Answering the constructed response/ open ended questions
1.) Begin once again by underlining the important information needed to answer the question thoroughly and completely.

2.) Deduce what requirements must be met to gain the full three points.

3.) Create an outline to organize thoughts.

4.) Begin writing your response in paragraph format.

5.) Be sure cite specific quotes from the passage to back up your response.
Things you should already know.
1.) Get a Good night's rest
Being tired never helped anyone
2.) Eat a solid breakfast!
Hunger leads to a lack of energy and focus!

3.) Come to school on time!
Tardiness leads to anxiety
4.) Relax and do your best!
Keystone Exam Format

1.) The literature exam is broken into two distinct areas of study,


2.) Within both sections students will have to answer a series of
multiple choice questions
. Only one answer is correct, and
each correct answer is worth 1pt

3.) Students will also be required to write
open ended responses
. Each constructed writing response is designed to take about 10 minutes, though more time is given to the student if needed,

4.) Each constructed response is scored on a
0-3 point scale

1.) I would first underline the word
in the question.
2.) Then I would look back to the passage and find where squalid is used.
3.) Next I would h
ighlight the sentence it is used in, as well as the sentence before it, AND after it.
4.) Lastly, based on the context clues, I would attempt to deduce the correct answer.
*(Answer is (A) neglected)
Example 2
5.) Which sentence most clearly conveys a nostalgic tone?

a.) It was about six o'clock as he caught sight of the splendid broken line of hills on which his baby eyes had look years ago.

b.) The one main street ended at the hillside at his left, and stretched away to the north.

c.) They climbed into the seat after William had lowered the buggy-top and unhitched the horse from the post.

d.) They were passing along lanes now, between superb fields of corn, wherein plowmen work.

1.) I would first underline the words

2.) Then I would need think about what
If you cannot define the term, the question will be difficult to answer correctly.

"a yearning for past circumstances"
so I would need to look for the passage that has to do with the past.
Or, I could think about when I have heard the term used before and it what way, and attempt to relate that example to the question and context of this passage

4.) Next, I would look for clues in the answer set to see if any of the answers relate to past events, or a strong feeling of empathy towards the past.

5.) From these skills I can deduce that the answer would be (A) since it states that he looked at the hills with
his baby eyes
years ago
. Which means he is thinking about how he viewed this area
in the past
Example 3

6.) What effect does the third person limited point of view have on the passage?
a.) It allows the reader to understand the motives of William McTurg.
b.) It allows the reader to feel sympathy for the men near the salt barrels.
c.) It allows the reader to feel dislike for the relatives plowing corn in the fields.
d.) It allows the reader to understand the feelings of Howard McLane.
1.) I would first use my highlighting and underlining techniques to pull out the valuable information. I would highlight the

word effect and third person limited

2.) I then need to understand what third person limited POV is, and how it works with perspective in literature.

Third person LIMITED means that the reader can only view the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the ONE character chosen by the author

3.) I then need to look at the story, and figure out from whom the story is told.

(Howard McLane)

4.) Because Howard McLane is telling the story from his perspective I can eliminate answer (A).

5.) Also, because I know that third person limited only allows the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of that individual character, I can eliminate answers (B) and (C),

since they deal with the feelings of other men

6.) I now only have one answer that could possibly be correct, answer (D), since it deals not only with the character who is telling the story, but it is also the only one that focuses on

ONLY HIS feelings
1.) What does the word squalid mean as used in the passage.
a.) neglected
b.) distant
c.) hectic
d.) bulky
1.) Now it's your turn. Read the passage, look for the word squalid, and write down not only your answer, but the techniques you used to answer the question.

2.) On the next slide, the answer and the techniques commonly used to solve this type of vocabulary question are shown.
1.) Now it's your turn. Go through the steps you would take to answer this question. Remember, you may use the passage for help.

2.) On the next slide, the answer and the techniques commonly used to solve this type of figurative language and vocabulary question are shown.
1.) Now it's your turn. With the aide of the selection you have already read, attempt to answer this question correctly.

2.) On the next slide, the answer and the elimination techniques commonly used to solve this type of point of view question are shown.
Example 4: Constructed Response
Analyze what Howard's thoughts throughout the passage reveal about his personality. Use information from the passage to support your analysis.
Howard's thoughts
throughout the passage
reveal about his personality
Use information from the passage to support your analysis
1.) I first would highlight the main part of the question. The scorers would like me to analyze Howard's thoughts. That means I am going to be looking to cite passages that highlight Howard's thoughts on different topics and scenes. Before I begin writing, I am going to go back to the passage and underline sections that I believe meet this requirement.

2.) Next, I need to take those cited lines, put them into my essay, and explain what they reveal about his personality. This is the second section of the question that I have highlighted in blue. In simple terms, you are explaining how the character's thoughts help create how he is characterized in the passage (Think about characterization).

3.) If you have completed steps one and two, you have already used information from the passage to support your own interpretation and analysis.

4.) Now your teacher will show you constructed responses and how they scored on past Keystone Examinations.
Remember to:

1.) Read the question carefully
(Before you read the passage!)
2.) Underline Key words and phrases
3.) Restate the question in your answer.
4.) Answer the question.
5.) Support your answer with textual evidence.
7.) Stop Writing.
8.) Read Over the response.
(is it legible, clear controlling point, textual evidence used?)
9.) Did you avoid using slang?
Questions are to be used in conjunction with the excerpt, "Up the Coolly", from
Main-Traveled Roads
by Hamlin Garland.

All test questions are from the Keystone Literature Examination Module 1 Item Sampler 2011.
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