Accommodations: First off, if you are an ESE student please make sure to contact the student disability office at your school. A big mistake students make is that they do not realize their high school IEP can also help them in college. The accommodations written on your last IEP can help you obtain accommodations for testing. Reasonable accommodations include receiving extended time and taking the test in a separate room or with a small group. This will allow a student with a learning disability enough time to read the questions thoroughly and if needed read them aloud for better understanding.
Take your time: So now that you have extended time, make sure to take your time. Getting more questions correct at the beginning of the test is better than guessing at all of the questions.
Read and Reread: Since many students with a learning disability may have difficulty with decoding and fluency, read each paragraph 2 times before moving on to the next paragraph. The first time you will be focusing on decoding and the second time focus on comprehension.
Take Notes: If scratch paper is allowed, write the topic of the reading passage on the scratch paper and list the main idea of each paragraph beneath the topic. This will help you find the answers more quickly as you are answering the questions.
Use Context Clues & Word Parts to Determine Meaning: If you come to a word you cannot decode or are unsure of the meaning, chunk it. Look for the prefix and suffix of the word to help determine the meaning. This can also help with decoding. If you are still stuck, try sounding it out or replace it with another word that makes sense in context. If you can, underline the word so the next time you read it you will be aware that it is giving you trouble.
Read Each Question Twice Before Answering: When it's time to answer the questions, do the same. Read the questions 1 time to decode, and the second time for better comprehension. Try to answer the question before looking at the choices. Then cross out and eliminate any choices you know are incorrect.
Believe in Yourself and Don't Give Up! Focus on what you can do and what you know. If there is a question or a word you are not sure of, underline or circle it and move on.
Bring a Lucky Charm: Hey it can't hurt! :)
-Elisa Cartagena, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
As the lead therapist and owner of Teach Beyond Speech Therapy Services, LLC., I provide academically relevant speech therapy for children from preschool through adolescence. I have over 15 years of experience in the education field that includes classroom teaching, ESE education, and speech and language therapy services. Teach Beyond Speech Therapy services clients in the Greater Fort Lauderdale Area of Broward County. We are willing to travel and provide in home therapy services for the cities of Davie, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Weston, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Miramar and Hollywood.
Keywords: standardized, test, strategies, accommodations, disability, testing