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SURVIVING REGENTS AND RCT TESTS! (Also, very helpful for other tests)
by fellow teacher, Irving Gross
How To Be Successful On Your Regents and RCT Examinations

The best way to be successful is to know your work because you have been conscientious in coming to class, paying attention, organizing your thoughts, coming to your own conclusions, doing your homework and asking questions if you do not understand something.

There are a number of techniques which you can use to prepare for examinations. Some of these techniques are a way of breaking down , organizing your thoughts and seeing the relationships, and patterns that exist within subjects and even between various subjects.

Some of you have learned how to use constructive communication which uses a number of critical thinking skills and graphic organizers in order to help you understand your work.

How Do I Use Critical Thinking Skills In Test Preparation And Answers
A. It is important to be able to sort words and phrases and to classify them. This is done by having categories. Items are sorted into categories identifying the defining characteristics. The skill used is called classification.

Topic to be classified: GOVERNMENTS
Each category may be ( classified) further broken up into:
How leader takes office
How laws are made
How laws are enforced
Citizen rights and responsibilities
How government services are paid for

B. Go through past exams, class notes, and your textbook and compile a list of terms that are important for your subject. Place the terms in groups that YOU feel are similar. Understand the relationship of these terms which should be the reasons(s) why you placed them in the category of your choice.

C. Many exams ask you to compare or to contrast two or more items. Sometimes they do not use this wording and ask for similarities or differences. This is particularly useful in History and English. In an English essay use the conclusion as your introduction and place and explain each similarity and difference in a separate paragraph as the body of the essay. Use the number of examples that are required in the essay. Your teacher maybe able to supply you with a form called a graphic organizer for this critical thinking skill. In doing this comparison you should have the following:

How are they similar?
How are they different?
Place the differences in categories.
What conclusion or interpretation is suggested by the significant similarities
and differences?

D. In Biology, Math and other subjects to skill Determining Parts Whole Relationship is particularly useful. You use this skill by having a whole object and listing each part, underneath each of the parts listed there should be a statement showing what would happen if that particular part was missing and then under that a statement of what is the function each part. The conclusion is the relationship between the parts and the whole.Your teacher may also has a graphic organizer for this skill.

E Another skill that is very helpful in studying for the examinations is TAPPS. This is where you study with a friend. Read a former examination question and have pretend that you are explaining the problem to a sixth grade student. Say everything that comes to your mind and define all the words that are difficult or unclear.

F. For review of Math, Chemistry and Biology problems, use this outline in solving the problem.

1. Identify the TYPE of Problem

2. State the rules that apply to this type of problem



c. ________________________________


e. ________________________________

3. Then work the problem, verbalizing each rule as it applies to the step you are taking in solving the problem.

4. If it is a multiple choice question, choose the answer from the list.



Special Hints On Completing Short Answer Questions

A. Practice

B. Practice

C. Practice

D. Go over at least one past examination a week. (Got the idea?).

E. Answer all the questions.

F. Do not leave any questions unanswered. (Got the idea?)

G. Read the directions carefully. This is particularly important in Math and Science.

H. Questions are usually grouped together by topic.

I. Eliminate answers that never happened. Example: The United States used the Atomic Bomb in World War I.

J. RCT and Regents ask only the important stuff. If its not important eliminate the choice.

K. Eliminate extreme answers. For example, if the choices include never , no one everyone, all, etc. it is probably incorrect.

L. If there are opposites then one of the opposites is probably correct. In the following example if the choices are (A) big (B) blue (C) twelve (D) small the answer probably is A or D.

M. If two answers are similar then one of the similar answers is probably correct. The choices are (A) Blue (B) Green (C) 25% (D) implied powers. The correct answer is probably A or B since they are similar based on the fact that they are both colors.

N. Watch time periods and locations. It the test asks about the Middle Ages and communism is a choice or about Australia and Buddhism is a choice then you can probably eliminate these choices.

O. A cartoon uses symbolism (representing something that is abstract) to express meaning. you will be usually safe, therefore in eliminating choices that are literal (in a basic or strict sense).

P. Do not change your answer. In more cases than not students have the correct answer the first time and then change it to a incorrect choice. Leave it alone!

Q. Answer the question without looking at the choices. Read the question and then in a phrase or two write down your answer. Then read the choices and choose the one that is similar to your own answer.

R. When reviewing for the test go over the wrong choices as well as the correct one. The wrong answer on the review test may become the correct answer to a re worded question on your test.

S. Use the process of elimination . Cross out the choices in a short answer that are wrong.You will then not spend time rereading them and if you have two possible choices there is a 50% chance in getting the question correct. If you choose from four choices there is only a 25% chance of getting the question correct. You should ,therefore, do twice as well!
T. Take your time.

U. Take your time.

V. Do not rush. (Got it?).

Special Hints On Completing The Essay Questions
A. Practice

B. Practice

C. Go over at least one examination each week.

D. Skim all the questions.

E. Follow the directions carefully.

E. Choose the essay questions based on how many questions you must answer in each section and which essays will you be able to get the highest point value.

F. Use the wording of the question itself. For example if the question asks you to "Discuss one specific positive or one negative impact of the technological development on the global community." your answer should begin in the following way: " One specific positive aspect of the technological development on the global community was ..." OR "One specific negative aspect of the technological development of the global economy was..." Do NOT use both examples. Follow directions carefully.

G. Write clearly and neatly.

H. Keep sentences simple.

I: Use transition words such as : furthermore, thereafter, and but, yet, since, finally, nevertheless, for e ample, however, because etc.

A Final Word Or Two
This material has been prepared by a number of people using a variety of sources.

One exam a week!
Do not rush!
Stay calm!

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