Be Prepared for SATs 2018
John Dabell, January 2018
Five more tips!
- Don’t linger: children can spend too long on particular questions, get bogged down, lose valuable time and lose heart. Remind children to skip and move on and circle any questions they miss out so they are easier to find when they go back through a paper. Children can choose which questions to answer first and use the order of difficulty to their advantage. Not all tests have to be answered in a strict order one page after the other. You may advise children to target questions with more marks first or go for the easier ‘one pointers’.
- Be more Sherlock: for lots of questions children need to find direct evidence and refer to it to support their answers. Even for inference questions the evidence is in there somewhere so children need to practice looking for it and make logical deductions.
- Underline or circle: children should underline or draw a circle around key words and what they need to find in a question.
- Answer everything: time management is everything and even though children might skip a question, ensure that they answer all the questions even if they make a guess.
- Always double-check: children who finish with time to spare and then close their papers can leave us dumbfounded. Ensure children understand the importance of ‘good housekeeping’ and why they need to check for missed questions and missed pages. Encourage them to read all their responses again check for comprehension, content weakness and careless errors.
Whilst content preparation and proven learning techniques are important to test success, attitude is everything. A huge part of SATs preparation is having a positive mind-set. If children believe they aren’t good at tests then they might actually perform worse. Research shows that thinking optimistically results in less anxiety and so a ‘can-do’ outlook and self-confidence really matters.