Middle School Reading Tests: Prep Tips for Students

Standardized tests play a big role in your middle school child's learning experience. Many states are using 'high-stakes' testing to determine grade level promotion and eligibility for special programs. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to help your child perform well on reading tests.

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How to Provide Reading Test Prep for Middle School Students

Organize Brain Power

One of the best things you can do to help your middle school student prepare for reading tests is to be sure to have a variety of reading materials around. Standardized tests use a variety of texts, such as consumer documents, newspapers and even technical directions. Reading tests measure analytical abilities and ask kids to infer and make predictions. To mimic this at home, be sure to ask questions about what your child is currently reading.

Know your child's reading performance levels so you can intervene if necessary. If your child's previous scores were not at grade level, you can use the scores to identify the areas in which your child needs the most help.

Give Practice Tests

Providing your child with multiple opportunities to take practice standardized tests will prepare him or her for future assessments. Additionally, students who feel comfortable with the test format will be less likely to suffer from test anxiety.

Many free practice tests are available on the Internet. Your state education agency may have previous tests available to download with answer keys provided. In addition, you can access previous tests and sample questions from EDinformatics, which posts tests from all states. Some are even available to be taken and graded online. Pearson Longman also offers sample tests for middle school reading.

Review Testing Strategies

Help your child understand that performance on the test will be at least partly influenced by his or her test-taking skills. He or she should read the test directions carefully and thoroughly. If the test includes multiple sections, be sure to read each set of directions. Warn your child to look out for directions that ask for which answer is the most accurate or the least accurate.

Tell your child to read each question carefully to determine its meaning. It's important that your child knows what the question is asking before he or she begins to answer. Additionally, your child should read through all the answer choices before marking one as correct.

Then, your middle schooler can eliminate answers that don't make sense. He or she should try to narrow the choices down to two. If he or she doesn't know the answer to a question, circle question, move on and go back if there's time at the end. Finally, when reading passages are involved, many kids find it helpful to read the questions first. That way, they know what to look for when reading the passage.

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