One thing I do to motivate my students is to give them a ticket the day before the test. The ticket has my "Fab Five" test taking strategies:
1. Read Carefully
2. Circle key words
3. Prove it!
4. Take your time
5. Check, check, check...and check again
Each day students have the chance to get 2 stickers (1 for each section of the test). If they use our strategies, they get a sticker. If they don't, they get...nothing. One the final day of the test, we have a celebration in the afternoon. There is a movie, popcorn, dessert, and coke. They get the following for their stickers:
6 Stickers=Just the movie
7 Stickers=Movie and popcorn
8 Stickers=Movie, popcorn, and coke
9-10 Stickers=Movie, popcorn, coke, and dessert
Not getting a sticker one time, does amazing things for motivating a student to change their tune about not doing their best.
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See other test taking tips at http://tricksoftheteachingtrade.blogspot.com/