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In today’s blog post, we’ll be addressing a question from Stacy, a dedicated educator from Utah. Stacy, an experienced CTE teacher, is seeking advice on how to get her students to take skills tests seriously.
In Utah, standardized tests play a role in funding for CTE courses. So, it’s crucial to find effective strategies to motivate students.
I’ve faced similar challenges and have learned valuable lessons along the way. Let’s dive into some proven techniques to encourage student engagement in skills testing.
Help Students Find Value in the Skills Tests
One fundamental aspect of motivating students for skills tests is helping them recognize the value of the exam. While we can emphasize the benefits of adding the certification to their resumes, we need to go beyond that.
In my experience, tying the test to specific software and providing students with a tangible certificate, like Adobe certification, can increase motivation. Students see the direct relevance and value of the exam, which fuels their determination to perform well.
Foster Self-Efficacy in Your Students Before the Skills Tests
Building self-efficacy among students is a powerful tool in motivating them to excel. One effective method is to familiarize students with the test format and content.
By practicing the test or offering mock exams, students gain confidence and become comfortable with the exam structure. This practice helps cut the fear of the unknown. And empowers students to believe in their ability to succeed.
Celebrate their progress and remind them that they have the necessary skills to ace the test.
Shift Student Mindset and Celebrate Success
Changing the way students view the exam can be a game-changer.
Encourage your students to view the test as an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and growth. Emphasize that the exam results provide valuable data for you as an educator to assess your teaching effectiveness.
Celebrate their achievements, even before the results are known, by creating a brag wall where students can track their progress and celebrate milestones.
Get Involved in Skills Test Development
If the opportunity arises, consider joining the committee responsible for exam development. By participating in the creation or revision of the test, you gain a deeper understanding of its content and structure.
This involvement allows you to provide insights and suggestions to make the exam more effective and student-friendly. Being part of the process empowers you to advocate for improvements that align with your teaching goals and students’ needs.
Motivating students to take skills tests seriously can be challenging. But with the right strategies, it is possible to inspire them to excel.
By helping students find value in the exam, fostering self-efficacy, shifting their mindset, and celebrating their successes, we can create an environment where students are motivated to perform their best.
Remember, it takes time and experimentation to find what works best for your students. Stay determined and adapt as needed to support their growth and success.
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