Preparing for Tests
In-Class Tests and Quizzes
As students prepare for tests and quizzes, there are some things they
can do to be well prepared.
Use the Math Toolkit. This contains
the concepts, algorithms, procedures, skills, formulas, and examples
that have been developed in class. Teachers will expect students
to apply this knowledge and give clear explanations for their work.
Review the On Your Own (OYO) tasks. These tasks are designed to
give students practice at home with the concepts investigated in
class. Some solutions for these are available in Selected Homework
Tasks from Helping with Homework.
In some cases, hints or partial solutions are given.
Revisit the Summarize the Mathematics (STM). These are summaries
of each lesson. In particular, the final STM plays a crucial role
in synthesizing all the ideas of a unit. Responses should be in student
class notes or toolkits. Solutions to Unit Summaries are available
from Helping with Homework.
For tests, review the tasks in the short Looking Back lesson of
Ask your student's teacher for advice.
Preparation for these tests depends on how well the specific state test
aligns with the CPMP curriculum and current research on learning. In
many states, the departments of education have overseen the writing of
curriculum standards which reflect the belief that the kinds of learning
required for the twenty-first century go beyond those required for the
last century. These state tests will typically have a multiple-choice
section and an open-ended section. Students will be expected to show
proficiency with specific skills, as well as the ability to explain their
thinking. Your student's teacher can generally access sample questions,
which you might wish to review with your student. You may also choose
to do the same kind of preparation indicated below, for standardized
Students in CPMP classrooms have performed as well or better than their
peers in more traditional classrooms on standardized tests, such as state
tests, SAT, and ACT. See Evidence of
Success. As in the past, students wishing to perform well on these
tests may choose to do additional preparation outside of class time.
To prepare for these tests, students might find the following useful:
Use the practice sets that are included in each of the eight Unit
Resource Masters for Courses 1-3. These practice sets
and test-taking tips help students improve their ability to score
well on standardized tests. The items in the Course 3 practice
sets are similar to ACT and SAT test items. These can be obtained
from your student's teacher.
Use practice tests supplied by the testing companies. Your student's
teacher or counselor can provide this.
Use practice books produced commercially. These are keyed to the
kinds of questions that are typical of each test.
Take a commercial course such as Kaplan. These tend to focus on
memorization of specific skills that come up frequently on standardized
tests. They also give good practice on the format and wording to
be expected. They are in no way a substitute for the kind of learning
that emphasizes connections and applications, but they are somewhat
effective in raising standardized test scores slightly. Reputable
courses will supply statistics on the effect on test scores.
Review your student's Math Toolkit notes.
If these are organized and complete, they will be very helpful.