Math Test Prep: Acing Multiplication Exams

In third grade, your child will learn to multiply, and it's likely that he or she will have to take timed tests on this skill. If you're trying to help your student ace his or her multiplication test, continue reading below to learn what you can do!

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How to Ace Multiplication Exams

Multiplication Skills

Students will use multiplication throughout elementary, middle and high school, but in third grade, they are typically expected to memorize the basic multiplication facts (usually 1 x 1 through 12 x 12). To test students' ability to recall the facts quickly, teachers often administer timed tests. This can be stressful for students, and it's often necessary to give them extra practice at home so that they can take these tests with confidence.

Once third graders have mastered their basic multiplication facts, they're given more challenging problems. For example, your child will most likely be asked to multiply single-digit numbers by two-digit numbers. He or she should also know how to solve two-step multiplication word problems that also involve addition, subtraction or division. Additionally, your child will need to determine an unknown number in a multiplication equation, like 4 x ? = 24. Once your child has mastered the basic multiplication facts, these skills will come to him or her much more quickly.

Test Prep Strategies

To help your child learn his or her multiplication facts, it's critical that you provide consistent home practice. The goal is for students to memorize their multiplication facts so that they will not have to draw pictures or count on their fingers to determine the answers. When students first start learning their multiplication facts, you may want to use flashcards or worksheets for practice. Of course, you will want to develop a practice strategy that fits your child's learning style. For example, for an auditory learner, you might try turning the facts into a song.

Once your child has a good grasp of the multiplication facts, you can give him or her practice using timed tests. With timed tests, quality is more important than quantity. Encourage your child to work through the timed test row by row, as opposed to skipping around. Repeated practice on timed tests should help your child improve his or her accuracy and confidence level. You may want to record your child's scores to track his or her improvement.

It's also smart to teach your child to focus on his or her own timed test in the classroom. Since time is of the essence, you don't want your third grader to get distracted by his or her neighbor's progress on the test. When practicing at home, you can take the timed test alongside your child to simulate the classroom testing environment.

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