# TAKS Test-Taking Tips!

```TAKS
Test-Taking
Tips!
What is Passing?
Based on the 2007 panel recommendations, passing scores are:
Passing
9th Math
10th ELA
10th Math
10th Science
10th Soc. St.
11th ELA
11th Math
11th Science
11th Soc. St.
Commended
67%
86%
60%
60%
57%
64%
58%
58%
55%
53%
51%
87%
88%
89%
91%
90%
85%
88%
89%
89%
What the Tests Look Like
• 33 Multiple Choice Questions
– One from the literary selection
– One from the expository selection
– One that connects the two selections
ELA – Grades 10 &amp; 11
• 48 Multiple Choice Questions
– One from the literary selection
– One from the expository selection
– One that connects the two selections
• 1 Writing Prompt
A dictionary and/or thesaurus may be used
on all parts except Revising &amp; Editing.
Math – Grades 9, 10 &amp; 11
• Grade 9 = 52 Multiple Choice Items
• Grade 10 = 56 Multiple Choice Items
• Grade 11 = 60 Multiple Choice Items
Each grade level has 1 fill-in-the-blank item.
A formula chart and graphing
calculator will be supplied and may
be used on all parts of the test.
Science – Grades 10 &amp; 11
• 65 Multiple Choice Items
– (includes 10 field test items not included in
score)
– Each grade level has 1 fill-in-the-blank item.
A formula chart, periodic table, and fourfunction calculator will be supplied and
may be used on all parts of the test.
Social Studies – Grades 10 &amp; 11
• Grade 10 = 50 Multiple Choice Items
• Grade 11 = 55 Multiple Choice Items
best score:
dictionary and a highlighter.
(Dictionaries may not be
used on math, science, or
social studies tests.)
Brain Dump
As soon as you are given permission to
begin your test, turn the test booklet over,
or find a blank spot on the inside cover,
etc., and immediately write down
anything you are afraid of forgetting
(Venn diagrams, test strategies…). This
will take pressure off and you can
concentrate on the problem solving
something.
Brain Dump, cont.
• In the essay section, jot down a few
of the tips from class: magic 3’s, full
start by describing something in
• Write out the hints for the short
Brain Dump, cont.
• In the math and science sections,
write whatever “rules” you can think
of.
• In the social studies section, write
down dates or series of events that
you might forget.
• Nobody will ever read this part of
your test so write what you need to!
Break Lines
• Before you begin your test, go
through and make stars, lines, or
smiley faces every five or six
questions.
• As you are taking your test, when
you get to one of your symbols, stop
and take a mental break.
• Take a few deep breaths and then
continue.
• Read the questions and underline
key words.
• On math and science days, you may
use your formula chart as a line guide
• Use your highlighter to identify key
words in every question.
Modify Your
• When you start your test, do not
selections.
• Read the questions first to know
what you are looking for as you read
the selection.
Modify Your
• Turn to question #1 and mark the
key words in the question.
– If #1 says, “Why does Mark change his
mind,” underline, circle or highlight the
words Mark, change and mind.
• Repeat for each multiple choice
question.
Modify Your
• Now, begin the first reading
selection.
• As you find answers (“Mark changed
his mind when…”), highlight that
sentence and put a star in the
margin.
Modify Your
• Transfer the information from the
• If #8 says, “What is the main idea in
paragraph 23,” go to paragraph 23 and
write “MAIN IDEA” out to the side.
• Know what you are looking for before you
• Remember, you are not reading for fun.
Read for a purpose on TAKS day!
ELA Essay Strategy
• When instructed to open your test
booklet, flip through and find the
essay prompt.
• Now – start jotting down ideas that
you can use in your essay.
• Remember, tell a story.
• Write.
• Now, write some more and make it
interesting!
ELA Essay Strategy, cont.
• Tell a story that will make the reader
say, “Wow, that kid can write!”
• Remember, you may use the pages
in your test booklet to pre-write but
your final essay must be written in
• After you complete your test, go
as necessary.
From Easiest to Hardest
• Remember, on the math, science,
and social studies tests, the hardest
questions are in the middle.
• Work carefully and get as many of
the first third and last third (the
easiest ones) correct!
Math &amp; Science Strategies
• Look for the key word and see if that
word is on the formula chart
supplied.
– area, volume, velocity, acceleration…
• Show work on every problem.
• Draw a picture, a chart, a diagram -draw, draw, draw!
• Show computations.
• Write the formula you used.
Math &amp; Science Strategies, cont.
• If you have no idea what to do, start
drawing a picture of what the
• Often, getting started will remind
you of what to do to solve the
problem.
Charts and Graphs
All charts and graphs contain the
answers. They do not require prior
knowledge!
• Cover the question.
• Read the title of the chart.
• Read all of the words on the chart.
• Figure out what information the
chart gives.
Charts and Graphs, cont.
• After analyzing the chart, read the
question.
• If you took your time analyzing the
chart, you will know the correct
X Marks the Spot
put a mark by each answer choice.
• If you are certain that the answer is
NOT correct, put an X by the answer
choice.
• If you are considering choosing that
choice.
X Marks the Spot
• When you have finished considering each
answer, if there is only one “?” then that is
your choice. If there is more than one “?”,
then you need to use additional strategies
choosing one. Avoid putting a checkmark
by an answer right off - consider all
choices.
• Each question has four answers.
• Two answers are completely wrong.
• One answer is called the
“distracter” and is close to the right
answer. (For example, if you forget
that last step of the problem, that
number will be the distracter.)
• Finally, there is one right answer.
Questions?
• Now it’s time to proofread.
• Read through and check spelling
and punctuation on writing portions.
• Be sure every sentence goes with
• If you have a sentence that does not
go with the rest of your paper, put a
line through it.
Plenty of Time
• Remember that all TAKS tests are
un-timed.
• Work at your own pace.
• If others in your room are finished