How to Attack Tests Using PIRATES (a test taking strategy)
It was down to the wire. The multiple-choice section of the AP US History exam was almost over and I had a few questions left. I was stumped. Did these events even happen in US History? Were these questions a joke?? Was the College Board just messing with us??? (As I got more stressed, I kept adding question marks to my internal dialogue.)
Though I had answered most of the questions, I didn’t know how to approach the ones that were left. I finished that section of the test (sadly, not the last section) sweatier than when I began. If only I’d had PIRATES to help me out. Not Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom (though they would not have been unwelcome!), but a test-taking strategy.
As testing season gets more stressful, I want to share with you an awesome test-taking strategy that I found as an adult. (Too late for my high school self. Sigh.) PIRATES can help with many different testing situations. Test anxiety freaking you out? PIRATES provides a game plan that can help calm you down and keep you focused. Always running out of time? PIRATES helps you maximize your time AND your grade. Attempting to answer a question you have no clue how to answer? There is a strategy for that, too.
Attempting to answer a question you have no clue how to answer? There is a strategy for that. Click To Tweet
Side note: For kids taking AP exams, there will be insanely hard questions on the test! Remember, there are some that 90% of test-takers will get wrong. Don’t flip out if you have no idea about a few!
Real pirates aren’t going to storm your classroom and finish your test for you. PIRATES is actually a convenient acronym for a series of test-taking strategies. Watch the video below to find out more about these strategies. Looking for a printed version of the strategy? Scroll down to the button near the bottom.
Just a few last words about PIRATES – it won’t be a miracle right away. Most students see improvements over time. Start using it on your next quiz or test and notice if you feel any different (hopefully better!) while taking it. Just be patient!
Which strategy do you think will be the most helpful for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Related Post: How to Take Control of Test Anxiety