March 03, 2016
The Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test™ (IAAT™) is a standardized math exam administered to students before they enter high school. In essence, it aims to assess how well a student has mastered pre-algebra, and is therefore ready for algebra. Educators use this placement exam to decide which level of math each student will begin in high school. While this can be a stressful exam for parents, teachers, and students, there are ways to prepare.
Understand the IAAT Test Concepts In order to succeed on the IAAT, students should understand what types of questions are on the test. The IAAT is comprised of four sections:
Pre-algebraic number skills and concepts - This portion tests a student’s ability to apply mathematical concepts to solving complex equations.
Interpreting mathematical information - This portion is more word oriented. It tests a student’s knowledge of math definitions and terminology. It also includes testing the ability to read graphs.
Representing relationships - This part focuses on identifying the rules that determine the relationship between numbers.
Using symbols - This section tests a student’s ability to recognize and properly use algebraic symbols.
One of the best ways to prepare for this exam is to review the information covered in pre-algebra. Do this by reviewing previously taken tests, homework, and notes. Start at the beginning of the course and work your way forward. This may seem daunting but a quick review of concepts that were clearly understood is likely all you need. The primary purpose of this review is to find problem areas. When you come across an area where your student struggled, spend some time explaining the concepts. Help your student grasp any ideas he may have misunderstood in pre-algebra.
Have your student take practice tests. This is a great way for you to determine where problem areas may be hiding. Allow the student to become comfortable with the material. This will make it less intimidating when they are faced with the actual exam. If the student struggles with a portion of the practice test, revisit that subject area. Continue doing so until they comprehend the material. The more familiar your student becomes with the test, the better she is likely to perform.
When students are under enormous pressure and stress, they underperform on exams. Of course you want your student to understand the importance of this test, but don’t cause unnecessary mental stress. For example, don’t threaten punishment if a child does poorly on this exam. Positive reinforcement and encouragement is the best way to create proper mental health and set the foundation for success. Make sure your student is well rested and is nutritionally prepared on test day. Some researchers recommend a high protein meal before taking an exam. You want the child to be alert and excited about this test rather than terrified. A calm, confident student will perform much better than a nervous student.
This is an important exam. Taking the time to prepare can significantly increase your student’s performance. Prepare the child well in advance, making sure that they comprehend the material. Whatever the results, know that your student did his best and be content with the outcome.
To learn more about this test visit http://www.hmhco.com/hmh-assessments/achievement/iaat
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