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Improving Your Students' Test Taking Skills (2-12)

Are you looking for strategies to help your students prepare for high-stakes testing? This online course focuses on strategies that improve students' test-taking skills. Teachers will learn how to effectively build students' problem-solving skills by boosting their comprehension using a variety of strategies such as test cues, word parts, and strategic guessing. Techniques for using mnemonics and other memorization techniques will be shared. Teachers will also explore a variety of test formats in order to better help students become test-wise. Specific test-taking strategies will be explored in an effort to help students improve their standardized test scores, causing them to feel more confident answering all types of questions including essay, multiple-choice, short answer, and even performance-based tasks. Finally, teachers will gain several time management techniques that are designed to help students make the most of the testing time frame. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The content of this course is very comprehensive. All types of testing concerns were addressed and I became more aware of test "clues" even after many years of teaching." - Victoria Goodhue


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $120 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $304


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

Teach Students How to Learn” by Saundra Yancy McGuire

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 30T03

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41458

Unit One

  • Introduction to Curriculum Standards
  • The History of Standardized Testing
  • An Introduction to Standardized Testing
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Building Students' Problem-Solving Skills
  • Creating Effective Learners
  • Teaching Memorization Techniques
  • Time Management for Better Test Taking
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Understanding Test Formats
  • The Art of Being Testwise
  • Teaching Test Study Techniques
  • Assignment #3: Share Your Expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Teaching Guessing Techniques
  • Test Cues
  • Word Parts
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Success Strategies for Standardized Tests
  • Success Strategies for Essay Tests
  • Success Strategies for Objective Tests
  • Success Strategies for Performance-Based Tasks
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Sample Standardized Test Battery Categories and Questions
  • Preparation Activities
  • Preparing Students for High-Stakes Exams
  • Required Roles
  • Assignment #4: Create two tests on a basic subject and include testing cues
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)