State Wide testing occurs in school all across the US in spring. The tests typically include sections in English Language Arts and Math. Depending on what grade you are in there may also be tests for writing and/or science.
States, districts, schools and teachers take the scores from these tests very seriously. The scores show not only what the students have learned but how well they have been taught! Teachers who classes score high might even get benefits like awards or cash bonuses. The schools with higher scores are the schools parents want to send their kids to. Neighborhoods with higher scoring schools have higher property values. Some schools will decide what programs students can go in based on their scores. If a child scores below basic or far below basic they might be put in special tutoring. If they score advanced, they might be put in enrichment classes.
Note: statewide tests aren’t as easy as the weekly or chapter tests your child takes throughout the year. Those tests are designed to make sure students have learned the material taught. Typically most students do well and get A’s.
Statewide tests are testing students in the entire state on what they have learned all year and how they think. The way the test scores kids is they fall in 5 areas far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.
It is VERY important to do your best on these tests!
This blog is going to tell you how you can do your best and get the highest scores possible!
Of course your child will be taking the test at school and you won’t be there to help however there are things you can do to help your child do his or her best leading up to the test.
Make sure your child is attending school regularly. If they are absent request the homework and make sure your child hasn’t missed an important concept taught that day!
If your child will have to miss a week or more due to an emergency, ask the teacher for the work the students will have during that time.
Most curriculum adopted by districts today have an online component. Make sure you have your child’s password, username. Your child can access online textbooks throughout the year wherever they are.
If possible look at your child’s score from the previous year. These are usually mailed home in the summer. There will be your child’s general scores on the front and a break down of areas on the back. Identify your child’s areas of strengths and weaknesses. It might be vocabulary, reading comprehension, geometry.
Target these areas with workbooks, online resources.
Encourage your child to read for pleasure. Simply reading for pleasure will teach a child about comprehension, decoding, story structure and vocabulary.
Download sample tests or release questions and review with your child to show them the structure of the test.
On testing days:
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and a healthy breakfast!
Children who are tired and hungry or hyped up on sugar are going to test well.
Make sure your child is at school everyday of testing. It’s usually a two week period.
There will be make up testing days, but again this is stressful as your child will want to be with his/ her class and probably not test as well.
Make sure your child is at school on time.
Coming in late will throw off your child’s day.
If the test has already begun they may have to stay in the office or a class at another grade level.
Encourage them to do their best without adding too much pressure!
For older students:
Try to have good attendance so you don’t fall behind. If you are out make sure you ask for make up work and keep up!
Try to get last year’s scores from your parents or school. Look at last years score and the breakdown for specific skills. Where are you strongest?? Weakest??
Work on your weak areas.
Read for pleasure. Simply reading books you enjoy will help you on the test!
The week before
Check out on line released test questions.
Get used to how they ask questions.
here’s a link for California
The days of the test:
Get enough sleep and a healthy breakfast!
Get to school on time! Some schools began testing right easy and if you arrive late you won’t be able to join your class since that would disrupt everyone.
Taking the test:
The test is made up of two major sections: English Language Arts and Math. Those sections are broken down into smaller sections. Students will take one smaller section a day for several days.
A typical testing session will take about an hour.
Students in grades 3 and up are allowed to write in their test books and will bubble it their answers in a sheet that will be scored by a computer.
You are allowed to go back and forth in the section you are taking that day. You can skip a question and come back. You can read questions for the reading section ahead of time. You can go back through the passages to find the answers.
You should underline or highlight important parts of the text or questions like EXCEPT or Synonym, antonym, Isosceles.
You should also mark off the two choices for each question that are clearly wrong. Most questions will have 4 choices, two will be obviously wrong and two will be close. If you mark off the two wrong ones you can then concentrate on the other 2.
Look out for “distracters” these are answers that seem right at first glance!
For example, If they ask you for the Synonym for Big .. Tiny will be the distracter. They want to see if you paid attention to the key word.
Don’t leave any blank. If you aren’t sure, take your best guess mark the question with a ? Or circle it and go back later if you have time.
With the reading comprehension section, review the questions then read the passages and / or go back and look at the passage. Most of the time the answer will be right there.
Listen to the person giving the test. Everything they say is scripted ( written in their booklet) and important. They will say where to start and where to stop.
Stay on track with your bubble sheet. If you lose your spot on this all your answers will be wrong. Every 4th or 5th question just make sure you’re on the right number.
On math USE your scratch paper. Many questions are going to ask you to solve complicated equations don’t do this in your head especially if you are under stress. You can also double check answers by using the inverse operation. For example 645- 234= 411 you can double check this by adding 234+411= 645
Think like the test writers — they are trying to trick you not help you. If all kids aced this test they wouldn’t be able to see which teachers, schools, districts and states are “better”.
If you finish early, go back and check that you answered them all and check ones you were unsure about.
Don’t cheat of course or even look around. Your teacher may not even tell you that he/she saw you cheating but they will mark “c” on that part of the test and it won’t even count.
Don’t try to use your cell phones to get answers or even take a pic of the cover this could get you, your teacher and your school in trouble!
Stay relaxed and give your self positive messages look for topics you know and do your best on those!