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It is estimated that there are over 650 million children living with disabilities in the world.150 million, among them, suffer from a learning disorder. These children do not live a normal life, and the majority is excluded from participating in their social life. They face challenges as many are unable to attend school, get jobs, and enjoy social life and bring up a family. They are disadvantaged in accessing social amenities like transport and shops.
Students with difficulty in learning have various challenges that affect their day-to-day learning activities. They have a problem with processing information, the ability to control, and make conscious decisions, and some do not even hope to take tests. It should be noted that if well-managed, children with a learning disability are usually successful in post-secondary education (“Study and Test-Taking Strategies for Kids with Learning Difficulties,” n.d.)
The main challenge that is experienced by students having learning difficulty is developing a strategy for taking up a test because they lack skills in the organization, understanding and may suffer from memory lapses. They also lack self-consciousness and awareness. Many of these learners do not know how to manage time. Teachers have a duty and responsibility for teaching these students strategies that can improve their testing abilities. Splash strategy is one method that has been designed to help such learners tackle tests with ease.
The best way to help a student with a learning disability is by helping him/her tests wise. Test wise is defined as the ability of a learner to manipulate the situation, characteristics, and formats of a test to gain high scores. It involves creating situations in the test-taking process to score highly. Being test wise helps a learner in making plans on how to attack question which in turn helps in time management (Reid, 2006). Splash highlights some of these plans of managing tests.
Processes of splash
Splash is designed to help students with learning disabilities to tackle questions more appropriately. Though this process involves mainly questions with multiple choices; it can also be instrumental in essays.
Skimming the entire test should be the first process. This helps the learner get a general idea of the questions. By skimming the whole paper, the student has a general overview of how many questions the paper entails. The learner is also expected to have an idea of the type of questions which help him/her be more prepared.
Planning is the second step which helps the learner develop a strategy of handling the test. The learner focuses on time management at this point. This helps him/her in arranging the question in order with an aim of answering the appropriately. The student is expected to begin with the questions he/she is sure of, leaving behind the difficult ones. This process is vital because a learner can gauge his/her performance even before the results are out. The learner is bound to have more self-confidence in tackling the difficult question when he is able to answer a lot of simple ones. However, this can easily demoralize learners who are not able to answer many simple questions.
Leaving difficult questions is another process of test taking strategies. This process involves skipping difficult tasks in order to come back to them after completing the simple tasks. This generally helps the learner know more about the question that will first be tackled among the difficult questions. A fairy simple question among the difficult ones will be the first to be tackled.
Attacking the known questions is a process that is geared towards enabling the learner to answer all the questions he is sure of. The main aim of this process is to help the learner score highly and manage his time wisely.
Systematic guess is the process that comes after all the above mentioned processes have been exhausted. Students are advised to attempt difficult questions by giving appropriate and best guesses to them. Systematic guess improves the chances of scoring a point on difficult questions, hence improving the chances of adding scores to simple questions. A student with learning disorder should be reminded that all answers are in the paper.
House Cleaning is the last process which suggests the learner take few minutes to have a final look at the whole paper to ensure that all the instructions are well followed. This time is to ensure that names, admission numbers and all the computer forms have been filled.
Measuring successful implementation of splash strategy
It is believed that any child can learn regardless of the disability. It is important for a teacher to analyze completed tasks to evaluate whether the strategy achieved its goals. The splash strategy will be able to give feedback spontaneously. This makes it easy to know whether objectives were met or not. (Mastropieri & Shrugs, 2010).
Completed assignments should be checked to get students’ strengths and weaknesses. Errors should critically be analyzed to determine whether they are related to carelessness, misplaced application or lack of content. If a child scores highly when using splash, then it is an indication that the strategy can be adopted.
Mastropieri, M.A., & Scruggs, T.E. (2010).The inclusive classroom: strategies for effective instruction. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill.
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Reid, Robert, and Torri Ortiz Lienemann. (2006). Strategy instruction for students with learning disabilities. New York: Guilford Press.
“Study and Test-Taking Strategies for Kids with Learning Difficulties” (n.d.). GreatSchools – Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community. Web.