How do you handle the middle school or high school student who constantly states that she knows the material but refuses to demonstrate this knowledge on a test? — Norman Abshear
Before responding to the student, consider asking yourself, “Why won’t she try?” Is it possible that:
She doesn’t know the content and thinks she’ll fail?
She knows the content but can’t deal with the test?
She knows the content but thinks the test will not accurately reflect her learning?
She knows the content but refuses to take the test for a personal reason?
She knows the content but is using this as a power struggle?
The rest of the class still needs to take that test, so try to postpone the conversation with this student. Could you suggest a trip to the nurse, counselor, or library? Checking with her other teachers and counselor might reveal some extenuating circumstance or a pattern of test resistance. If you contact parents, think about letting the student know in advance. It’s important to give her some control. In the meantime, it’s wise to document everything.
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