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Our Writing Center has always helped students with writing portions of any standardized test for which they request help and the Academic Resource Center has generalized test-prep workshops that include time management, reading, ect.

That said, I can tell you that truly helping students with these exams can be extremely time consuming and costly because, at least as far as the writing of essays or responding to standardized multiple-choice grammar/usage exams goes or other critical thinking questions goes, individuals will need different assistance. It is unlikely, but perhaps possible, that the students need help with just test taking skills or something that can be offered to a group in a single workshop--other than to encourage the students to spend time preparing for the exams they will be taking and not assuming they can do so by reading some magic bullet notes the week or day before the test. 

Often students, at least with writing, need time management and insight assistance. For the writing, we encourage a genre approach and have the students respond to prompts that are similar to what will be on the tests. We usually ask the students to find the online material about tests we have not supported in the past, or they can research the tests and bring us prompts that we then use to create new prompts. For one exam, we have developed a Practice Multiple Choice.

Once students write in response to a prompt, we review with the students what they already know and can build on and what they need to know. Because we are taking a genre approach, we help students think about (1) the audience/reader and purpose (readers can be computers at times, purpose is to show readers the students can write a competent essay with few mechanical and usage mistakes); (2) invention or idea getting on the spot (students often don't have ways to start developing their ideas and we have a wealth of strategies, ranging from a pro/con chart to certain categories of Aristotle's common arguments (fairness, consequence, definition, costs, etc.); and (3) style--what format is needed for the essay as well as how to develop proofreading guides that will help the writers locate errors they sometimes make because they don't know the structure is an error or because they overlook it.

We have writers continue to practice prompts until they seem to succeed. Along the way, we have them develop a proofreading guide (as stated above) which they will write down as the first thing they do on the test--for students who have anxiety, writing down their proofreading guides (which are by now in abbreviated form) truly calms many of them down during the test.

Sorry for the long text, but helping students pass standardized test can be so complex. Of course, part of the time the validity of the can be questionable, but we take the stand that students need our help even when some of the tests are riddled with issues--I'm particularly taking about Pearson-based state tests to determine the "readiness" of sophomore students to become teachers, not any of the test mentioned in the original post.

Kim

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sandi Tomlinson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 10:53:25 AM
Subject: Re: Standardized Exam Prep

I am interested as well.  Please share responses.

Sandi Tomlinson
Director College Success
Florida Gateway College
[log in to unmask]
386-754-4413 (office) / 386-754-4913 (fax)


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gerhea W.Chuber
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 10:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Standardized Exam Prep

I am also interested.

Rhea Chuber
Learning Specialist
MCC-Maple Woods
Humanities 105
816-604-3197
[log in to unmask]



________________________________________
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Kimberly Courtwright <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 9:19:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Standardized Exam Prep

I would be very interested in this as well!

Kimberly Courtwright

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 8:52 AM, Katie Harrell <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Good Morning!
> Several of our faculty have requested additional support services for 
> student preparing to take standardized exams related to their major 
> (Praxis Core, TEAS, NCLEX). We are looking to put together a term 
> based course or workshop for students on how to take standardized 
> exams with a focus on reading, vocabulary and stamina. We have 
> research (in relation to our student population) that suggests reading 
> comprehension and stamina are more indicative of success on these type 
> of exams than actual content material. I am curious if anyone is 
> currently offering a related workshop or course and would be willing to share syllabi and presentations.
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
> Dr. Katie Harrell
> Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
> Center for Academic Excellence
> Student Advising and Retention
> (605)668-1554
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>
> [cid:[log in to unmask]]
>
>
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--
Kimberly Courtwright
Tutoring Services Coordinator
Academic Enrichment
660-543-8310
[log in to unmask]

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