Are students generally aware of test taking strategy or do I need to emphasize this? I have to ask because I often reuse tests and some years all the students breeze through with plenty of time, and other years it is challenging, and they might even run out of time. A test where they run out of time is essentially invalid and does not help me.
But, I think there is in those cases a failure to make the best use of the time! I tell them the point values of different items (1 pt for True / False, 4 for Multiple Choice, 5 for Fill-in words) and I say to look over the entire test at the start, to answer all the easy ones (for them) first, then go over it again to get slightly harder ones, then the hardest ones, and finally, review the answers before submitting the attempt. So, I do give them strategy.
But sometimes there is still this tragedy: someone runs out of time half-way through. My tests are almost always open book and notes (but no internet use). When I hear, right from the start, lots of page-flipping, I know it will not end well. Someone is starting at the first question (T/F is at the start, then Multi choice, then Fill-in), and giving equal attention to all of them. I think it is because, even though they know the strategy, they panic and just bear down.
To me, this is work-related learning, and we are giving workplace-relevant training, and so learning not to bear down is a good lesson.
Is there a better way to introduce and reiterate Test Taking Strategy, beyond what I have already done? How to quell their panic, when I hear the page-flipping? Too late?