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Author Topic: Standardized Testing  (Read 4809 times)

Offline Carolyn

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Standardized Testing
« on: 13/01/2006 04:53:46 »
In Florida there is a test called the FCAT.  I think it stands for Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.  In certain grades, you have to take this test to be promoted.  At high school level, it's taken in 10th grade.  At some point between 10th and 12th grade it has to be passed to graduate.  

I've never had a problem or disagreed with these tests in any way until now.  My daughter is in 12th grade.  Math has always been a difficult subject for her, but she's managed to make decent grades in it.  She hasn't taken the higher levels of math, because it's so difficult for her, and we also accepted BAD advice from a guidance counselor.

She is a good student.  Her GPA is 3.5.  She has failed the math portion of the FCAT seven times now.  Always by one or two points.  There is another test that can be taken for college placement (the ACT).  If you score high enough on it, you don't have to worry about the FCAT.  She's taken the ACT two times now.  The first time she was one point away.  I just got her results for the second test and again she's one point away.  She only has one more opportunity to take the FCAT.  I know this has to be a mental block.  She does fine on her regular school tests.  She's stressed out and terrified that her chances of going to college have been blown to hell.

She is a bright and artistic young woman.  She has her own business, and has since she was 13 years old.  I'm at my wits end. She is starting to show signs of depression.  It doesn't help that her 12 year old brother has scored well above average on his FCAT.

Does anyone have any advice or tricks on how to successfully pass standardized tests?

Carolyn


 

Offline neilep

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2006 05:20:37 »
we need a teacher here to answer this Carolyn...now I could ask my Brother and Sister In law for advice but I can't have the family knowing where I spend all my hours !!

I am very sorry to hear about your daughters depression and yet she has acomplished so much already. Perhaps the knowledge is in her and she needs to be in the right frame of mind to release it. I too am awful at Maths ( and that's with my brother being a Maths Supremo....)

Perhaps the advice she needs is how to apply her maths skills efficiently and with ease...especially as you mention it's a mental block...in addition to some tips and tricks...I do hope someone here has some suggestions.

Please try and not fret so much !!(impossible to do I know)

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #2 on: 13/01/2006 06:01:34 »
Thanks Neil.  I'm trying not to worry or fret as you say.  She has overcome alot of adversity.  She has the learning disabilty, dyslexia, and has worked very hard to get where she is.  In elementary school she struggled alot and I was told her IQ was below average and not to expect much from her academically.  THEY WERE WRONG.

I just don't want her to give up.  Maybe I can pay some brilliant, math genious, look-a-like to take the test for her.  Just kidding.  kind of.

Carolyn
 

another_someone

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #3 on: 13/01/2006 06:31:09 »
Firstly, disclaimer I know nothing about this matter; and not a teacher or educationalist.  Have had friends who are dyslexic, but that is as much as I know on the matter, and I know that with dyslexia, as with everything else in the real world, no two people are the same.

I assume you have gone through all the usual channels with the dyslexia?

Don't know if there are any local support groups on dyslexia that might be able to help with strategies for dealing with the issues arising from dyslexia.

I assume her problem is with reading in general, and ofcourse most exams require a significant amount of very accurate reading.  Maths particularly, you scan a line, and overlook a single variable in an equation, and you can easily get an erroneous result, even if you know all the theory behind it.

I suppose it should also be all the more important for her to develop the habit to check the reasonableness of her answers.  For instance, (a very very simplistic example) if you multiply two number of two digits each, you would expect an answer of around 4 digits, and if the answer you get is of a different scale then you probably missed something somewhere; or if you add two even numbers, you expect the answer to be even, and if it is not, something is wrong.  As I said, the real world is more complex than that, but if you know roughly what the answer you want should look like, and the answer you get is different to that, then work back and see where is started diverging from expectations.

Besides that, many many moons ago, when I was taking exams (in the UK, and in a very different system to that in place at present), I used to say I could get 50% marks by just guessing what answer the examiner wanted, without knowing anything about the subject it's about the psychology of the exam, what sounds like the kind of question, and the kind of answer, that the examination is likely to to ask.  Must admit, it sometimes caused problems in class, as I got lazy about learning the proper way of working things out when I could just guess what sounded like a reasonable answer to the question.  But the point is that even if you guess the answer, you still have to work back and make sure that the answer does actually match up to the question (again, back to checking the reasonableness of the answer).
« Last Edit: 13/01/2006 07:08:39 by another_someone »
 

Offline DocN

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #4 on: 14/01/2006 21:08:35 »
The best advice I've heard of in dealing with having difficulties in subjects, is to read, re-read and re-read.... the textbook material until you really know what is being presented.  This works for me, when studying complex physics areas.  If you don't understand the material, than re-read it over and over, until you do.
Doc
 

another_someone

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #5 on: 15/01/2006 02:07:40 »
quote:
Originally posted by DocN

The best advice I've heard of in dealing with having difficulties in subjects, is to read, re-read and re-read.... the textbook material until you really know what is being presented.  This works for me, when studying complex physics areas.  If you don't understand the material, than re-read it over and over, until you do.
Doc



The problem is if you are dealing with someone with dyslexia, then reading can be very tiring, and you often don't get the right message because your eye skipped over something when you read it.

Anyway, it is not clear from the question if the problem is that the girl doesn't know the answers, or simply that she gets confused when answering them on the exam paper (maybe because she is panicking, or simply misreading the questions on the paper).
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #6 on: 15/01/2006 11:08:50 »
Maths is a very hierachical form of knowledge - understanding one thing is dependent on understanding something else, so often the problem is that you miss something several years before and never quite get your head round it, which mean that two things that depend on it don't make sense the next year, then 4, then...

 before long you have a gaping hole in your knowledge and it is not obvious what casued the problem, and reading text books will probably just make you depressed.

It is possible some of these holes could be filled in by a really good one to one maths tutor who is willing try and work out what your daughter failed to understand and fix it.
 

Offline DocN

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #7 on: 15/01/2006 17:05:09 »
I think Einstein had dyslexia and may have overcome it by this constant effort and being curious in the subject matter?  What sparked his exertion?  Parents?  An uncle who showed Einstein the exciting "world of Science"?  Perhaps, his own genetic make-up?  It is a difficult problem.
Doc
 

Offline mini_coops

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #8 on: 15/01/2006 22:16:44 »
Carolyn - I'm doing AS-level maths in the UK, and I'll be honest, it's not my best subject. However, I've managed to get hold of a maths tutor and it's the biggest help I've ever had! I would totally advise something of this sort for your daughter.

I know that it isn't easy when a sibling is top-notch at maths - my brother reads books about numbers for fun... lol. If you have any access to some past papers, these are also a briliant help - they certainly helped me through my maths exam last Tuesday. They just let you know the kind of questions to expect and they're just brilliant practice.

I have also found that going back to the basics before going for the hard stuff makes the hard stuff easier. Learning your indicies, solving quadratics etc makes things like differentiation and integration so much easier.

Hope this is of some help

Best of luck to your daughter for her test!

 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #9 on: 16/01/2006 05:09:33 »
George - I've tried the usual channels, starting in the 3rd grade.  The school system would not test her for dyslexia because she was such a strong reader.  This is true.  I taught her to read using phonics before kindergarten.  Comprehension of what she reads is another story.  I had her tested on my own, and I was right.  She has severe dyslexia.  But what do I know, I only gave birth to her.   I've done hundreds of hours of research on how to effectively teach dyslexics, and she's done quite well except in math.  Unfortunately, I am also dyslexic.  My reading is not really affected. I have dyscalculia, so I'm terrible at math and can't help her.

quote:
Originally posted by DocN

read, re-read and re-read....
Doc


So far in all other subjects this has been her routine, and she's been successful.  No matter how much she reads the math text, it's to no avail.  Generally for her, repetition is the key to success.

George - I think it's a little of both.  She doesn't have a good understanding of math and she has test anxiety.

You're right Dave, she didn't get a good grasp of the basics of math, and was forced ahead before she was ready.  I'm now in the process of looking for a good math tutor, outside of the school system.  Her math teachers have given her good grades, but she hasn't learned much.  When she went to them for extra help, they offered after school tutoring for a hefty fee.  Why should I pay extra when they didn't do their jobs in the first place?!

I don't mean to sound down on teachers, I'm not.  Only the rotten ones.

Carolyn
« Last Edit: 16/01/2006 05:18:27 by Carolyn »
 

sharkeyandgeorge

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #10 on: 17/01/2006 11:21:13 »
i dont know anything about dyslexia but i always used signals to help me remember stuff in tests eg when learning logs i rubbed my left knee and when i had to remember it rubbing my left knee again brought back the memories. i still rub my left palm when i do multiplication and it still works 15 years after i learned it. i dont know how much of a difference it really makes but just having some sort of plan always calmed me down in tests. hope this helps.

"Defender of the Sea"
 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Standardized Testing
« Reply #11 on: 18/01/2006 04:07:25 »
Chris - Thanks for the suggestion.  That's interesting.  With most dyslexics, touching and feeling something is a good way to learn.  I'm going to suggest that to her, I'll bet it helps.

Carolyn
 

Offline Issac

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Standardized Testing
« Reply #12 on: 23/08/2007 05:52:01 »
Maths is a very hierachical form of knowledge - understanding one thing is dependent on understanding something else, so often the problem is that you miss something several years before and never quite get your head round it, which mean that two things that depend on it don't make sense the next year, then 4, then...

 before long you have a gaping hole in your knowledge and it is not obvious what casued the problem, and reading text books will probably just make you depressed.

It is possible some of these holes could be filled in by a really good one to one maths tutor who is willing try and work out what your daughter failed to understand and fix it.

Thats the absolute truth indeed.Interrelation do exist in the mathematics concepts.
Well for any beginner.....basics are a must. newbielink:https://www.esumz.com [nonactive] helps in making the Maths basics clear through its online services.
 

Offline Carolyn

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Standardized Testing
« Reply #13 on: 24/08/2007 04:43:54 »
Thanks for reviving this thread Isaac.

I never updated you all on her test.  She finally did pass the FCAT on her final chance.  She was the only one in her senior class to pass.

Her first semester of college she took a remedial math course and had an outstanding teacher.

She is now a math tutor and is considering changing her major to accounting.
 

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Standardized Testing
« Reply #13 on: 24/08/2007 04:43:54 »

 

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