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Upping the Odds on Standardized Tests


  • Educational Technology
  • Health
    --Mental Health


  • 6-12

Brief Description

Students research test-taking tips focusing on nutrition, sleep, stress reducers, and more, and then present the information -- in a variety of fun projects -- to another class or grade level at the school.


Students will:

  • Research tips for increasing mental and physical wellbeing in preparation for an upcoming test.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the information through the creation of a computer-based product such as a slide show, brochure, poster, and so on.


standardized testing, test preparation

Materials Needed

  • Student access to the Internet.
  • Student access to Microsoft Office, AppleWorks, or iWork '05.
  • Student access to a printer.

Lesson Plan

Help your high school students perform their best on upcoming college admissions or state standardized tests with this fun and informative lesson plan. Students are empowered to improve their own odds of success, while sharing what they've learned with others.

This lesson is particularly appropriate a week to a month prior to college admissions test or state-mandated standardized testing. Begin the lesson by asking students what they have done to prepare for ___ test. Some might respond that they have taken practice tests (alone or in class), enrolled in special after-school courses or purchased prep materials, or simply listened to teacher instructions on test-taking strategies. Ask students to list important test-taking strategies (such as knowing the test directions, knowing when to guess and when to skip a question, and so on). List their responses on the board.

Explain to students that they are going to research ways to improve their test scores -- ways that have nothing to do with the test itself. Ask students to consider what some of those strategies might be. Responses might include eating a good breakfast, getting a good night's sleep, knowing how to deal with stress, getting to the test center/school early, and so on.

Tell students that their task during the remaining class period is to research 4-5 important test-taking tips that have nothing to do with the test itself, and then create a fun and informative product based upon their research. Emphasize that because this is almost test-taking time, the emphasis is not on how pretty the final product is, but on how much information is conveyed. Final products will be shared with students in other classes.

Below are the steps students should take to complete the assignment.

  • Explore the Web sites below for 4-5 test-taking tips.
    Note: Be sure to have students cite any sources used. Stipulate what you want them to include in their citations -- such as URL, date and time of search, name of Web page or article, and so on.
  • After information about 4-5 tips has been gathered, decide which of the projects below would be the best way to increase awareness of those tips among your peers or younger students. Each project includes step-by-step instructions on the Techtorial Table of Contents page. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)
    Specify how much time students have to complete their projects. By following instructions, students should be able to complete their products easily within 1-2 class periods.
    • Classroom poster made with Microsoft Excel
    • Interactive PowerPoint presentation
    • Newsletter made with Microsoft Word
    • Student Web page made with Project Poster (See Post Student Work Online.)
  • Print your work, and share your product with other students in the class or with students at another grade level.


Students are assessed on their:

  • Ability to identify tips to improve test performance as shown in the multimedia product.
  • Ability to complete the multimedia product in a timely fashion.

Depending on your class and on how much emphasis you wish to place on the lesson, you might choose to grade it as daily work or as a bigger project, perhaps using one of the multimedia rubrics found at RubiStar.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lorrie Jackson

National Standards

NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity tools
NT.K-12.5 Technology Research tools
NT.K-12.6 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making tools