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 MORE tasks. These tasks are designed to give students practice at home with the concepts investigated in class. Some solutions for these are available by choosing Examples of Homework Solutions from the pull-down menu at the right.
  • Revisit the Checkpoints. These are summaries of each lesson. In particular, the final Checkpoint plays a crucial role in synthesizing all the ideas of a unit. Responses should be in student class notes or toolkits. Choose Summarizing Checkpoints from the pull-down menu at the right.
  • For a quick review of math concepts, choose Quick Summaries from the pull-down menu at the right.

State Tests
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 child'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 tests. See also Reference and Practice (9th grade or Course 1, 10th grade or Course 2, 11th grade or Course 3).

Standardized Tests
Students in CPMP classrooms have performed as well or better than their peers in more traditional classrooms on standardized tests, such as 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 Reference and Practice (RAP) books (9th grade or Course 1, 10th grade or Course 2, 11th grade or Course 3). These books contain practice tests and test-taking tips to help students improve their ability to score well on standardized tests. The items in the Course 2 and Course 3 RAP books are similar to ACT and SAT test items. They are available as student handbooks. Your district may have already obtained them from the publisher.
  • 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 the Math Toolkit notes. If these are organized and complete, they will be very helpful.
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