8 Ways Students Can Improve Test Grades

A high school student typing on a computer

Before the Test: How to Improve Your Study Skills

A student studies for her tests.

3. Go through previous assignments and quizzes.

Revisiting old assignments and quizzes is a great way to prepare for an exam. Sometimes teachers even use them to develop their test questions.  
 
Have your student spend some time figuring out the correct answers to questions they have previously answered incorrectly; you might get to witness an “aha” moment. Check each assignment and quiz for feedback from the teacher—this can be valuable for test preparation as well.

4. Create your own practice test.

Once your student is feeling ready to take the exam, consider creating a practice test using notes, assignments, and study guides. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed, but the effort will help your child feel confident.  
 
You can also quiz your student verbally if you don’t have time to develop a test on paper. Have some fun with it by providing rewards such as a movie or game night for correct answers!

During the Test: How to Improve Your Test Scores

6. Make a checklist.

Having a checklist of test-taking tips handy during the test can allow students to self-monitor as they answer questions. It’s also a good way for students to build confidence and independence while still feeling supported. For example, if your student is working on an essay question, they can use a checklist with reminders, like:  
 
• Answer all parts of the question 
• Check for punctuation 
• Restate the question 
• Use as many details as possible

An online student taking a test.

7. Look for clues.

If your child is unsure about a multiple-choice question, they can narrow down the correct answer by ruling out options that are obviously incorrect. Your student can then pick the answer that best matches his or her understanding.

8. Double-check each answer.

Sometimes students get so excited about being done with a test that they forget to go back and check their answers. It may seem redundant, but it’s important to double-check their work. This helps to ensure that each question has been answered completely and thoroughly, and that they haven’t made any simple mistakes.  
 
Be sure that your child answers each question and doesn’t leave any answers blank. As long as wrong answers are not counted against their final score, an attempted answer is better than no answer—and the effort may earn partial credit. 

Test taking can be a bit nerve-wracking for students, but with preparation and guidance,  they can confidently conquer any exam!  

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