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Demystifying Standardised Tests: How to Prepare and Succeed

Standardised tests can be a source of anxiety for many students. They can also play a critical role in academic and career success. While the format and content of standardised tests can vary widely, there are strategies that students can use to prepare and succeed on these exams. In this article, we will explore some tips and techniques for standardised test preparation, and how educators can support students in developing these skills.

  1. Know the Test Format

Before preparing for a standardised test, it’s important to know the format of the exam. This includes the types of questions, the number of sections, and the time allotted for each section. Understanding the format can help students prepare effectively and feel more confident on test day.

Source: “Preparing for Standardized Tests” by the U.S. Department of Education (https://www2.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Standardized/index.html)

  1. Develop Test-Taking Strategies

Standardised tests can be challenging, but developing effective test-taking strategies can help students overcome difficult questions and avoid common pitfalls. This includes strategies for managing time, reading questions carefully, eliminating incorrect answer choices, and making educated guesses.

Source: “Strategies for Test Taking” by Princeton Review (https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/test-taking-strategies)

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice is key to success on standardised tests. Taking practice tests can help students become familiar with the format and content of the exam, and identify areas where they need to improve. Additionally, many test prep programs and resources are available to help students prepare for standardised tests.

Source: “Preparing for Standardised Tests” by Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep)

As educators, it’s important to support students in developing effective standardised test preparation habits. This can include incorporating test-taking strategies into classroom instruction, providing access to practice tests and resources, and offering emotional support to reduce anxiety and stress around test day.

Fun thought: Did you know that the SAT and ACT are just a few of the many standardised tests that colleges and universities use to evaluate applicants? What are some other standardised tests that are important for college and career success?


  1. “The ACT: What You Need to Know” by ACT (https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/ACT-academic-quick-guide.pdf)
  2. “SAT and SAT Subject Tests” by College Board (https://www.collegeboard.org/)
  3. “Standardised Tests: What You Need to Know” by Peterson’s (https://www.petersons.com/blog/standardized-tests-what-you-need-to-know/)

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