Test Taking Tip 5: Extended Answer Questions

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  1. You should have at least 3-4 paragraphs.
  2. Remember to indent each paragraph.
  3. Always proofread your work for spelling and grammar mistakes.
  4. Budget your time and try not to rush the conclusion.
  5. Always remember to answer the question that is asked.

Introduction

The introduction paragraph should rephrase the question to prompt.  It should also include the topic sentence or thesis. There should be about 3-5 total sentences in the paragraph.  It should begin general by rephrasing the task and end specific with the thesis.

Body Paragraph

There should be at least one body paragraph.  It should flow and be organized logically.  If there are multiple topics, there should be multiple body paragraphs.  For comparisons there should always be at least two body paragraphs.

Conclusion

The conclusion should begin specific by stating the exact conclusion.  It should then become more general towards the end of the paragraph.  The conclusion should also be 3-5 sentences.

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Test Taking Tip 1: Time Management

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  1.  Budget your time

Figure out how many questions are on the test and how long you have to take the test.  Get a general idea of how far you would like to be when time is half way.  Get a general idea of how long you should spend on each question.  

2. Which questions to answer

Read the question and decide if you can answer the question in a reasonable about of time.  If it will take twice as long as you decided you have, skip it and come back to it if you have time.  Always remember to go back to questions you skipped.

3. When to answer randomly

Different tests are designed differently.  Some tests such as the Redesigned SAT Exam and ACT Exam allow a limited amount of time to complete the test.  During the last seconds of the test, it is a good idea to fill in any answer if you did not have a chance to answer the question.  Since you do not lose points for a wrong answer, there is no penalty for taking a guess.  You never know you can get some of the correct.  Other tests like the Current SAT Exam, take off points for wrong answers.  In this case it is better not to randomly fill in answers.  Finally, other exams such as the GMAT Exam take off more points for a blank answer than a wrong answer.  Again, it is better to randomly fill in an answer than leave it blank.

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College Level Courses in High School

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Many schools offer a variety of college level classes including AP, IB, or classes provided by a local college.  Many of these classes require a minimum grade average to enroll and continue the class.  The are many advantages to these classes.  Taking college levels classes in high school shows colleges and potential employers that you are serious about your education.  These classes can also help prepare you for college level work with the support and help your high school teachers provide. Lastly, the count for college credit.  These classes will allow you to take less general education classes in college since you already completed them.

Recommended Downloads:High School Course Planning Sheet

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Elective Classes in High School

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There are many options for electives.  Electives are offered in every subject area of the core classes.  There are a certain number of elective classes that are required. Students are required to take 1 credit of art or music, and 2 credits of physical education over 4 years. However,  students need 22 credits to graduate. To receive enough credits students must take additional electives.  Electives allow you to explore different subjects and topics.  This can help you realize what you enjoy and what you would like to study in college or what field you would like to work in.

 

Recommended Downloads:High School Course Planning Sheet

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Core Classes in High School

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Always select your core classes first.  These classes are required for graduation.  They include math, science, English, social studies,  and foreign language.  Many schools offer multiple levels of these classes including Regents level, honors, and AP.  There might also be options for core classes.  College look highly upon students that took additional core classes.  This includes an extra year or two of your foreign language or an extra science or math class.

 

Recommended Downloads:High School Course Planning Sheet

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Requirements for High School Graduation

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These requirements are for the NYS Regents Diploma.

All students are required to have 4 English credits,  4 Social Studies credits,  3 Math credits, 3 Science, 1/2 Health credit,  1 Art or Music credit,  and 2 Physical Education credits.   The Regents Diploma  requires 1 Secondary Language credit and the Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation requires 3 Secondary Language credits. Students also need  a total of 22 credits to graduate. These additional credits are earned through electives.  All students are also required to pass the following Regents Exams with at least a 65: Comprehensive English, Global History, US History, and Checkpoint B Language other than English. The Regents Diploma  requires 1 Math and 1 Science and the Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation requires all 3 Maths, 1 physical science  and 1 life science.

Please check with you local school district to check for additional requirements.

Recommended Downloads:High School Course Planning Sheet

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Being Reviewing for Finals

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Final exams will be here before you know it. You should start reviewing early so you do not need to cram right before the test.  There are many ways to begin studying.  You can look over your notes and create a list of questions about topics of concepts that you might have forgotten.  You can look at your old tests and answer the questions again.

Whenever you are creating a plan or working towards a goal it is important to monitor your progress.  This is why your goals should always be measurable.  You should make sure that you are accomplishing your short term goals that lead to the long term goals.  Check weekly and monthly to make sure that you are still on track to reaching your goals.

 

Recommended Free Downloads: Study Schedule, Writing Goals

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Reenergize

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It’s the beginning of spring.  Take some time to enjoy the weather and the change of seasons.  Bring your homework or a book outside.  Open your windows and blinds and enjoy the sunlight.  Go for a walk after school to clear your mind and relax before beginning your homework.

Try something new.  You can learn a new sport or try a new art form.  Involve your friends in your new endeavor.  You can also learn a new skill. There are many instructional videos online that can help you learn something new.

 

Recommended downloads: Plan, Study Schedule, Writing Goals, Creating a New Plan


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Creating a New Plan

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After completing a midyear evaluation and a midyear reflection you should create a plan.  Ask a teacher or guidance counselor if they have suggestions to help you improve.  Talk to some friends and see what they are doing.  Remember to keep your plan manageable and doable.  Set up a study and homework schedule.  Pick the days, times, and location of where you are planning to study.  Set up a study space.  It should be well lit, comfortable, and quite.  Your homework space should have a table or desk, pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, sticky notes, and extra paper.  Reward yourself for sticking to your plan.  The reward should be appropriate for the goal.  You can reward yourself with a new game or outfit that you’ve been wanting or by going out with your friends one night, or by going to your favorite restaurant.

Recommended Downloads: Creating a Plan, Study Skills, Writing Goals

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Student Responsibility for Homework

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Students should be responsible for completing their homework and projects.  When students are beginning school it is very common for parents to check that the student completed all of his or her homework and that it was done correctly.  As students become older and more responsible they should be responsible for completing their own homework.

By middle school the students should be able to complete their own homework without being told to do it.  They should be able to look in the agenda book and make sure that every part of the homework is complete.  However, they most likely will still need help planning and completing projects and other long term assignments.

By high school the students should be able to complete their own homework, projects, and long term assignments.

  • Students can check off each homework assignment as they complete it.
  • Students can use a planning sheet (there is a free one at to plan long term assignments.
  • If necessary, students can also use an incentive chart to encourage them to be responsible for their own work.  Some great and free incentives could be an extra hour of TV on the weekend, staying up an hour later on Friday night, or being able to choose dinner or dessert one night.

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