I've come to realize that this doesn't actually mean what the student is trying to say.
After hearing this from a number of students, I peeked into their other grades and found that many of these same students were doing quite well in other subjects but struggled in math. Upon asking them about their test-taking skills in these other areas the overwhelming response was that those other tests are easier. Yet I have students who will still say that they are poor test takers even on assessments with very high class averages.
I'm convinced the "I'm not a good test-taker" comment is more a cry for help from students who are struggling but who lack the skills necessary to improve their scores alone.
Essential skills for studying in math
- you must know what material will be assessed
- you should know what kinds of questions your teacher will likely ask (multiple choice, constructed response, etc)
- you should identify your own weaknesses and focus your study there
- you should NOT wait until just before the test
What better students will frequently do in addition:
- make up practice questions
- even if you just take a problem worked out in class and just change 1-2 numbers and work that out
- find another student in that class and discuss the examples
- better yet, challenge each other with the additional examples you've made
- Seek out assistance _online, IRL, etc...
Any other strategies you can suggest?