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Previously Blogged in the Assessment Group. Now Playing>> Band: The Guess Who Record: The Hits "You took me by surprise. I didn't realize that you were laughing." In New Jersey, state testing begins in 3rd grade. (crazy) So, as the test nears, you will probably see me post some test taking tips that I've seen work and not work and totally bomb. Come on, they're 8-year-olds. Some will be totally sarcastic and some will sound like a joke, but I kid you not. Random Test Tip #1 Like 75% of the points earned on the NJ state test are from multiple choice questions. Unbelievable, right? Reality? Yes. So, the old trick is to teach the kids how to answer MC questions. I find that the kids love laughing at the dumb, trickster type choices. There are always two choices that are totally "Laughable." And that's exactly what I call them: "Laughable Choices." And yes, I make the kids really laugh at them. It's great when they are in the heat of the battle, and I hear laughing. The laughter of sticking it to The Man. Now you've got two possible answers. Let's be honest, you either can find/formulate the answer or guess. Go with your first instinct. Always. 50/50. This isn't new stuff. However, I do have the TM on laughable answers, but I give all of you the permission to teach your kids to laugh at those silly choices. The test is laughing at them(kids), but paybacks are a ... well, you know. Here is the real joke. We teach our kids to think deeply; to intelligently answer questions in complete sentences; to have an opinion. And what do we get? What do we get? Let me hear ya'.