Preparing Students for National Standardized Tests

Kay T. Payne, Ph.D.

April 5, 2006

Video Segments

  1. What should teachers know about standardized tests?
  2. Why do students fail?
  3. How difficult are the tests?
  4. What kinds of questions or skills are included?
  5. How can teachers and students prepare?


Nationwide, African American students tend to score lower on standardized exams, such as the SAT, GRE, and professional licensure exams. Why do so many African American students perform poorly on these exams and what can teachers do to improve the students’ performance? To answer these questions, this video examines the difficulty levels, types of questions, and reasoning skills “built into” these tests. It concludes with specific steps that teachers can take to prepare students for the exams.