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    Joined: Nov 2023
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    Joined: Nov 2023
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    My son took the paper PSAT 8/9 in April and scored in 99th percentile with no advance preparation or exposure to the exam. That score fits with paper standardized testing he's done throughout schooling showing high percentiles across the board over the years.

    He moved schools and was made to take the digital PSAT 8/9 in October (6 months later) and his score dropped into the 70th percentile range. He has ADHD and computers have always been a distraction/interest (during zoom home schooling with COVID he was constantly focused on optimizing computer performance instead of focusing on content of lessons). Now standardized testing will all be on the computer. Do you have advice on how we can help him prepare for future standardized test so that he can focus on the exam itself and show that he knows the material and can do well?

    We are not interested in accommodations (modifications to how he takes the test), but advice on how to develop skills to be able to take the exam digitally.

    Thank you!

    Joined: Apr 2023
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    I would suggest asking him to do as well as possible and "optimize" his performance on the test by learning good guessing strategies so he can get the highest score possible so he isn't distracted by optimizing computer performance. Explain that the computer is a tool to access knowledge and keeping it working as well as possible isn't his first priority.
    Maybe reward him for putting his full attention and effort into a test with something like more RAM for his computer.

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    Also, if he took the psat 8/9 last year, the test could be boring since he's ready to skip another grade.

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    Thanks for your suggestions, 13umm. We've had the discussions about the computer as a tool, but I will try your other ideas. Since my post, I also had him take one of the practice online test sections and video record him over his shoulder. I then reviewed it with him to point out where he did things that were not related to answering the test questions. I thought this third person point-of-view may be helpful, but he hasn't taken any further tests yet to see if it made a difference, and we haven't scored the test so he can compare his activity to his results.

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    The recording idea is very smart. I hope your son has fun at school and that is computer doesn't get so much RAM it becomes sentient, :P.

    Joined: Apr 2019
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    Joined: Apr 2019
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    An idea/suggestion

    Emphasize the importance of the test. For example, a good score on the test allows him to access an honors level course or have a good score for college admission. ( If itís not actually importantÖ then itís not actually important.)

    Allow this kid regular time to explore the computer. Heís clearly interested in how computers work and how to make them work better.If he knows he can explore the computer regularly he is less likely to fiddle with it when heís taking a test.


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