Even though U.S. standardized tests have existed for a few centuries, educators still feel the pressure each year to have everything in order long before the upcoming testing season arrives. As time inches closer to testing season, here are some ideas about strategies and supplies you can add to your tool chest to prepare for the administration of the test, so you can use the lead time to help students prepare.
6 Steps to Preparing You and Your Students for Testing
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is another group that continually works toward finding ways to help educators and state education officials prepare for the next generation of testing. Consider some of the supplies and plan ideas compiled to put yourself and your students in a position for success this coming testing season:
Check Your State’s Testing Guidelines for Any Major Changes
You will probably receive regularly updated materials, so make sure you read through everything and note any changes.
Plan the Appropriate Amount of In-Class Test Preparation Time and Stick to It
It is easy for teachers to become focused on materials geared directly toward test preparation. Avoid this pitfall by creating a calendar to adhere to your curriculum and stay on schedule to maintain the balance between learning for intrinsic value versus assessment.
Set Periodic Test-Oriented Goals for Students and Use Informal Assessments to Measure Their Progress
This approach helps you and your students avoid any major surprises when it is time to take the tests. You can also determine the effectiveness of the time you spend on test preparation and make incremental adjustments as you feel it is necessary.
Discuss the Purpose of the Testing With Students
Find a way to discuss the reason and meaning of the testing requirement to help ease students’ minds. Letting them know that it doesn’t affect their daily hard work is one approach you can take to help avoid causing students to feel overly anxious about the tests.
Order Plenty of the Materials Your Students Will Need to Take the Test
One large confidence booster lies in knowing you have all the correct supplies on hand with plenty to spare. You don’t want to experience any shortage of pencils or other tools that might cause stress for yourself or your students come test time. A few essential items you need to order for the test include traditional or mechanical #2 pencils, calculators for the math section and high-quality headsets for any listening portions.
Prepare With Tutorials and Practice Tests
You might consider these practice tests as important for your own edification as it is for preparing your students. You can make sure you have all the supplies you need readily available before the official testing period.
Help Students Learn Test Prep and Time Management Skills
Testing season is challenging for both educators and students. Here you’ll find tips and ideas for giving your students the tools, resources, and skills they need to succeed. Check out the Student Resources category for help in discussing time management and study skills, or head over to the Teacher Favorites collection to see what’s new in classroom tools and decor.