Teach Your Child To Pass A Reading Test: Test-Taking Strategies

You can teach your child how to pass a reading test by teaching simple test strategies.


The most important strategy is to teach your child how to mark up a reading test. To clarify, marking up a test is similar to making notes in a margin, or next to the story or passage.

Most importantly, your child should read a story 3 times. For instance, children should read a passage 2 times for accuracy and a third time for deeper understanding. However, the third read is for marking up the text. For example, on the third read have your child make notes using these reflections; a personal connection, a question, a drawing or a prediction . Additionally, an older child can also use inferencing (guessing) .

In brief, this reading strategy is called active reading. As a rule, an active reader shows what they are thinking as they read. In short, thoughts should appear alongside a passage or story . Most importantly, your child should use all of the reflections or some of them, but no less than three.

An Example of Marking Up The Text

Sue has a dog. I have a dog ( personal connection)
The dog is fat.
The fat dog sat.
It sat on a bow. The dog might be tired (inference)
It sat on a toe.
It sat on some snow. The dog might sit on a hat (prediction)
It sat and sat and sat What is the dog’s name? (question)

(Drawing)

In the example above, the reader shows what they are thinking as they are reading. Consequently, this improves comprehension. Therefore, the reader should able to understand enough about the story to answer the questions accurately.

Answering The Questions

Subsequently, teach your child to read a test question more than once. First, your child should underline or highlight key words or words that are important. ( I have bolded these words in parenthesis instead).

For example, “Sue has” are the important words in this question

1.(Sue has) a dog
___ hog
_X_ dog
____ham

After that, the reader should look back in the story and find the words “Sue has”. Next, highlight or underline those words. Meanwhile, continue to read the sentence, Sue has a dog.

(Sue has) a dog
The dog is fat.
The fat dog sat.
It sat on a bow. Q#1
It sat on a toe.
It sat on some snow
It sat and sat and sat

As a result, your child has found the answer to question #1 . Next, have your child write Q#1 next to the text ( see above). In this case, this will show where your child finds the answer. Moreover, this will be helpful to you as you guide your child’s progress. So, the answer to question # 1 is found .

Your Child’s Reading Test Should Look Like This

(Sue has) a dog. I have a dog
The dog is fat. Q#1
The fat dog sat.
It sat on a bow. The dog might be tired           
It sat on a toe.
It sat on some snow. The dog might sit on a hat
It sat and sat and sat What is the dog’s name?


  1. (Sue has) a _______
    ___
    hog
    _X dog
    ____ham

In conclusion, once your child gets the hang of these active reading strategies, teach them to follow the same steps for every reading passage and each question. As a result, It may take a little longer to complete a reading test. Certainly, it might look messy and it should. However, an A on a reading test is the goal. Most of all, you can adapt these strategies for any grade.

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To sum up, Happy test taking !!


EDUCATION STAFF WRITER