Study Guide for the Reading Portion of the High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam

Posted by on December 10th, 2015

In spite of the fact that the High School Equivalency (HSE) test is constantly changing, building an understanding of the examination’s format and question types is essential for students who want to pass. Your students will need a powerful study guide to build a solid skillset that will help them do well on the HSE exam. Reading does not come naturally to many students, so incorporating these aspects into a plan of study can certainly help.

Classroom Activities

Help adult learners practice for the HSE by demonstrating fluency in the classroom. Even many adults do not regularly hear others reading aloud fluently. As you read from a book, read at a conversational pace with natural inflection. Students can then demonstrate and practice their own fluency by reading to you or others in the classroom.

Before and after reading aloud in class, it is wise to speak to students about background knowledge they might already possess about a topic. You won’t be surprised to learn that asking questions, or even asking students to summarize what you just read, increases their ability to comprehend the reading. Prior knowledge creates a firmer understanding of new reading.

Graphic organizers help students organize and clarify information. For instance, K-W-L charts encourage students to ask the big questions — who, what, when, where, and why. Students who know how to ask these questions have a better understanding of the text they have just read.

Making predictions about reading tests student comprehension while creating interest in the reading before delving into the text. Ask students to write down or say aloud what they think is about to happen. Students will be more interested in the reading and feel more confident about reading when they happen to make accurate predictions, or when they have to compare their prediction to what actually happened.

Online Resources

For students who really struggle to read aloud, it can be helpful to research videos of other people reading fluently. Youtube is a great resource for this, as many students need to see how others struggle and prevail with similar texts to what they are currently reading. This activity builds comprehension and develops a solid sense of self-esteem.

Practice Tests

You already know that students tend to do better on exams when they know what to expect. Practice tests in class can simulate the exam, relieving anxiety some students may have. When students correct the exams with you in class, they also learn what makes certain answers stand out as incorrect or correct. These tools carry with them to the test.

Building comfort with the students in your classroom is essential, and you can do this simply by creating planned activities that re-create parts of the test. Testing the same skills as the HSE exam ensures that your students feel confident about the material placed in front of them on test day.



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