Twelve Words that Trip Up the "At Risk" Student on a Standardized Test

Words to help your child understand in preparation for taking standardized tests.

Research has shown that the following 12 Words trip up students when used in a question on test. In an effort to help students become familiar with and more at ease when faced with these terms, we have simplified the terms into words students use more frequently and generally have a better understanding.

Currently our principals and teachers are integrating this 12 Word List into their daily instruction in order to help our students become more successful test takers in the future. If you could review the list with your child or ask your child what the word means, together we can make their test experience less stress and more successful.

  1. Trace - Follow up, step-by-step, from the beginning to the end, list the steps.
  2. Analyze - Take it apart, tell me the good and the bad, break it down.
  3. Infer - Read between the lines, make an educated guess, what do you think they are really trying to say.
  4. Evaluate - Rate, grade, score or judge it.
  5. Formulate - Create, Come up with, build, show me in words what it means.
  6. Describe - Paint a picture in words, tell me all about it.
  7. Support - Back it up, prove it, give me the reasons, give me some facts.
  8. Explain - In your own words tell me about it, give your opinion.
  9. Summarize - Recap in a few sentences, give me the main ideas in a few sentences.
  10. Compare - Tell how all the things are alike.
  11. Contrast - Tell how all the things are different.
  12. Predict - Give me your best guess, look ahead and tell me what you think will happen.