There is great virtue in old-fashioned stick-to-it-ive-ness. ‘Smart’ students don’t always know the answers on tests. But they are resourceful.
When they realize they don’t have enough time or information to give a correct answer — they don’t give up. They give it their best shot.
Here are some ideas you can suggest that your children try the next time they get stuck on a test question:
• Politely ask the teacher to clarify the question or the kind of answer expected.
• Skip over the question and allow the sub-conscious mind to work on it. Sometimes this will trigger a thought and help with earlier questions.
• Rephrase the question.
• Start writing something — anything — that relates to the topic. Other ideas might start to flow.
• Replace the question with a related one you can answer. Let the teacher know you’re aware that you’re not answering the question asked, but that you are demonstrating your knowledge. The process might trigger the answer to the original question as well.
• When you don’t know what something is, write down what it isn’t. This will show you have at least learned something.
• If there is not enough time to finish, write “Short of time!” and finish the answer in outline form. Sometimes that will earn a student partial credit.
When taking tests, stick-to-it-ive-ness has proven helpful for many students.