Test-Taking Strategies

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Test-Taking Strategies

An Easy-to-Use Play for Elementary and Middle School

Grades 2-6
20 minutes
(2 or more Book/CD sets @ $30 each)

In Stock.

Includes script, teacher's guide, and audio CD. The CD has all the songs recorded twice: first with singing, so you and your students can learn the songs, and then without voices so your students can perform without us singing along.

And if you ever have any trouble or questions, you can contact us at any time for help.


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For individual teachers/classes:
Book/CD - $39.95 for 1, $30/ea for 2+
Hint: order 1 for each teacher. (details)

For 3+ teachers or whole schools:
Site License - $75.00
Comes with 3 copies of book/CD plus unlimited photocopying rights (details)
School/site name:

Musical extras:
Vocal Score - $9.95 (details)
Extra/Replacement CD - $9.95

Or order by phone, fax or PO

Play Description

We at Bad Wolf aren’t big fans of test-mania, but we know it’s here to stay and you teachers have to prepare your students for some quality time with their number two pencils. This show reviews some time-proven techniques to get your kids relaxed and ready for testing -- both regular tests throughout the year and also year-end standardized tests. Shorter than most of our shows, Test-Taking Strategies gives your students something helpful and fun to do while not taking time away from last-minute curriculum-crunching. It's also a great show to use to start the year off on the right foot!

Here's the story: Five mythical creatures have transferred to a new school. They're excited to be there, but terrified to take tests! With the help of their teacher, new classmates, and some exciting visitors, the newcomers will learn everything they need to know to relax, focus, and succeed.

Topics include:

  • Invest in your health: eat healthy foods, wear comfortable clothes, and get a good night’s sleep
  • Come to class every day, listen and focus, be prepared by bringing the right materials
  • General test strategies: Read the whole question, look for key words, answer the questions you know first and come back to the harder ones, check your work
  • Strategies for multiple-choice questions: answer every question, try out every answer, eliminate answers that you know are wrong
  • Suggestions for dealing with test anxiety: breathe, think positive, count to ten, take a break
  • An important reminder that “you are not your score”!

Test-Taking Strategies actually makes the whole test-taking experience a wee bit fun. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance and music skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!

Author: John Heath and Lisa Adams (Book and Lyrics) and Mike Fishell (Composer)
ISBN: 978-1-886588-57-8
© 2013 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

"We LOVED doing the Test-Taking Strategies play this year! I will certainly do it every year. Not only are the strategies helpful, but the fun we had was a nice change during our lessons and reviews."

---Suzanne Schiavoni, Teacher (4th grade), Tanglewood Elementary School, South Glens Falls, NY

This is the first third of the script.

From 11-40 students. Use as many Leprechauns, Students, Trolls, etc. in each scene as desired. We have cleverly given the students unisex names; feel free to change these or have students use their own names. One student can easily play several roles if needed, and individual roles can be doubled up. Note that all roles can be played by either boys or girls.


MRS. M, the teacher
STUDENTS (in groups of three, by scene)
Jesse, Terry, Dana
Riley, Jordan, Jamie
Morgan, Quinn, Sam
Chris, Alex, Taylor
Jude, Chandler, Casey

and a CHORUS composed of all students who are not playing roles on stage at the time.

(CLASS enters. STUDENTS mill around until MRS. M enters with

MRS. M: Okay, settle down, everyone. Take your seats.
(STUDENTS sit down. UNICORN, MERMAID, GNOME, and GENIE remain standing next to MRS. M.)
We have five new students joining our class this semester. They’ve just transferred from the Grimm Academy of Mythical Creatures.
(SHE points to each as she introduces them)
This is Unicorn, Gnome, Genie, Mermaid, and...
(SHE pauses, looking around)
...where’s Troll? Has anyone seen Troll?

GENIE: Last I saw he was trying to eat the maintenance guy.

MRS. M: Oh no! That’s terrible.

MERMAID: I know. He’s supposed to be cutting down on snacks.

MRS. M: Class! Please make our new friends feel at home. I’ll be back as soon as I can -- I have to go save Mr. Peterson.
(SHE dashes out.)

JESSE (to Mythical Creatures): So, how come you guys all transferred?

GNOME: Our old school caught on fire.

UNICORN: Yeah. Dragon got the hiccups one day -- what a mess.

GNOME: He singed my hat.

GENIE: Not this again.

GNOME: I LOVED that hat. It was a family heirloom!

GENIE (shaking his head): Gnomes and their hats.

TERRY (rubbing eyes): I don’t want to be rude or anything, but I thought you mythical creatures were, well, mythical!

MERMAID: We get that a lot. But here we are.

UNICORN: And we’re REALLY looking forward to school.

GENIE: Yeah. We love learning.

DANA: You’re in luck. We have great teachers here. And great parents! (grins at audience)

GNOME: There’s just one thing.
(elbows MERMAID)
You say it.

MERMAID: Um, well. We’ve heard a bunch of rumors about...
(elbows UNICORN)
You say it.

UNICORN: Why me? Well, it’s just that we’ve heard that in your schools you have to...
(elbows GENIE)
You say it.

GENIE: Fine! I’ll say it! (asks CLASS) We’re not going to have to take any TESTS, are we?


Song 1 - Listen to a sample now!

Though life may be a mystery
There are things that are a guarantee
And one of them all students could have guessed...
There’s gonna be a test.

There’re certain things you know are true
The grass is green; the sky is blue
As certain as the sun sets in the west...
There’s gonna be a test.

Here comes a test
There goes a quiz
That’s just how this school-thing is
But don’t stress out
And don’t be scared
You just gotta be prepared!

So if you ever feel perplexed
’Cause you don’t know what’s coming next
There’s still one thing to count on, I suggest...
There’s gonna be a test.
There’s gonna be a test.
There’s gonna be a test.

(THEY sit down/exit.)

GNOME: Wait. Are you telling me there’s gonna be a TEST?

GENIE: They just sang an entire song about it.

GNOME: I know! THAT came out of nowhere, didn’t it?

MERMAID: At least they didn’t ask ME to sing. Ever since that Disney film, people think all mermaids can sing.

RILEY: You don’t sing?

MERMAID: Just in the shower.

JORDAN: Mermaids take showers? Isn’t that sort of redundant?

MERMAID: I take showers in the mornings to wake up. I like to stay up all night doing homework at the last minute. Then I drink 45 caffeinated beverages in the morning to get ready.

JAMIE: How’s that working out for you?

MERMAID: I don’t know -- for some reason, school is kind of a blur to me.

RILEY: We used to do the same sort of thing to study for tests.

JORDAN: But it turns out that’s not a very good way to succeed.

JAMIE: Yeah. You’ve got to get yourself physically prepared if you want your mind to work well.

Song 2 - Listen to a sample now!

We thought that missing school was fine
We’d stay up late to study
But on the test we didn’t shine
We’ve never felt so cruddy! 

Eat healthy foods
Wear comfy clothes
Get to bed on time.
Invest in yourself
Invest in your health
So you’ll be at your prime.
We thought that candy would be great
Before the test got rolling
But then we couldn’t concentrate
So now we are extolling...

Eat healthy foods
Wear comfy clothes
Get to bed on time.
Invest in yourself
Invest in your health
So you’ll be at your prime.

We didn’t give our clothes a thought
He was cold and she was hot
We could have silenced the naysayers
If only we had dressed in layers!

Eat healthy foods
Wear comfy clothes
Get to bed on time.
Invest in yourself
Invest in your health
So you’ll be at your prime.
Invest in yourself
Invest in your health
So you’ll be at your prime.

(THEY exit/sit down.)

MERMAID: That’s really helpful advice. I never thought of dressing in layers. In fact, I never thought of dressing at all. (shivers) It’s freezing in here!

GNOME: Well, I’d give you my HAT, but...

GENIE: Never mind about your hat. Here, Mermaid, have a poncho. (HE rubs lamp and produces a poncho)

MERMAID: Hey, thanks! (spinning around) It even goes great with my tail.

MRS. M (bursts into the room): Everything okay in here?

MORGAN: Just fine, Mrs. M. Any luck with the Troll?

MRS. M: He’s the least of my worries. Now it’s Leprechauns.

QUINN: Leprechauns?

MRS. M: Three of them. We found them in shop class making wooden shoes.

GENIE: Well, good for them! I guess they got that Dutch contract.

UNICORN: They did? That’s surprising. After that disaster in Australia I figured they’d never work again.

SAM: What happened?

UNICORN: They made such unattractive boots there that when people saw them they just said “ugg.”

MERMAID: I wonder what ever happened to all those things?

MRS. M: I have to go help lure the Leprechauns out of the kitchen -- apparently they’ve been diving into the pot of soup looking for gold. Carry on!

GNOME: Troll is smart -- if they don’t find him he won’t have to take any tests. I’ve gotta hide! (tries hiding in silly places on stage)

GENIE: I’m not worried. You saw that poncho business! I’m just going to rub my own lamp and use some genie magic to do the test.

MORGAN: That would be great, but it’s not allowed.

GENIE: What do you mean? Why not?

QUINN: Well, it’s kind of like cheating.

GENIE: Of COURSE it’s like cheating. That’s the whole point!

SAM: Sorry, you’re going to have to prepare for the test like the rest of us. You just have to put a little thought into it.

MORGAN: Yeah. Make sure you’re in your seat in plenty of time before the test starts, and that you have whatever tools you are allowed -- like scratch paper, eraser, calculator...

GENIE: Lamp?

MORGAN: No lamp.

GENIE: Poncho?

QUINN: Sure, it’s a good way to dress in layers like we talked about.

GENIE: (frustrated) You sure I can’t use just a little magic?

SAM: Don’t worry -- you can do this! If you have any questions before the test, you can always ask the teacher. Mrs. M always gives us a couple of sample test questions so that we know what’s coming.

GENIE: And that’s all that I’ll need?

(This concludes the first third of the script.)

Sample Songs

Click on the song name to hear samples. Please note that internet song samples have low fidelity and rest assured that the CDs we sell sound much better! (This player requires Flash. If you have any trouble hearing the samples, just contact us for help.)

Full Song List

1. There's Gonna Be a Test
2. Invest in Yourself
3. Get Ready
4. Here Is the Key
5. My Brother Likes to Scare Me
6. I Just Guess C
7. You Are Not Your Score

Common Core and Other National Standards

Language Arts

Fine Arts

  • National Music Standards 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standard 1 for 5th-8th
  • National Theater Standards 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standards 2 and 6 for 5th-8th
  • National Dance Standards 1 and 2 for K-4th


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