Metacognition and Test Taking

By | June 24, 2018

Using metacognitive skills help students manage test taking. By using the 4 processes, students come to testing with additional ways to better handle/access their own thinking.

Plan and Organize

skim and preview tasks

breakdown the parts

decide how to proceed


check your progress

troubleshoot  problems

ask for help when truly ‘stuck’

Self Reflect

assess our strategies


with others

Direct Our Own Learning

know what we know

know what we need to move


Other factors figure in with testing:

First, encourage students to quiz themselves rather than reread highlighted text. Sometimes there are sample questions or problems in the back of a text book which may provide extra practice. Working with a partner (Think-Pair-Share-Compare) helps. What visuals/graphs/charts/models helps your understanding?

Second, know what the test is to cover and look back to see where you stumbled during learning the information. Try to unravel what steps or processes you need to understand more clearly. Use as many strategies as you have available BEFORE you ask for help.

After the test, look back to see where you made your mistakes and try to unravel where you made errors. What strategies could you have employed to help you get a more accurate answer? What feedback do you need (from a fellow student or the teacher) to help you clarify your understanding.

Metacognition is thinking about how we think. Together with growth mindset and critical thinking skills, we’ll all become stronger independent thinkers.