Several tests are administered during state testing. Students in third, fourth, and fifth grades will be assessed in ELA (English Language Arts) and Math. Fifth grade students will also be assessed in Science. Learn more about testing and explore free practice resources at http://www.caaspp.org/practice-and-training.
On Test Day
Here are things parents and guardians can do to help students prepare for state testing:
1. Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a healthy breakfast
Many teachers report that students who don't do well on tests haven't gotten enough sleep, and haven't eaten breakfast on the morning of the test. Doing both of these things will ensure that your student is working at full capacity (Narang, 2008).
2. Make sure your child is prepared
Some schools may supply the tools your student needs for the test, such as pencils, an eraser, paper, and a calculator. Others may require the students to bring those materials themselves. Check with your student's teacher to see if you need to provide your student with any of these materials. Also, check to see whether your student will be able to make up the test if they are sick on test day (Narang, 2008).
3. Remain positive
Staying calm will help your student stay calm. If your student gets nervous about the test or is likely to experience anxiety during the test, help them practice some relaxation techniques that they can try while taking the test (Narang, 2008).
Students vary the test-taking strategies they use according to the type of test they’re taking. Most standardized tests employ multiple-choice questions. Here’s a list of test-taking strategies that students use to answer multiple-choice questions:
Read the entire question first. Students read the entire question first to make sure they understand what it’s asking. For questions about a reading passage, students read the questions first to guide their reading.
Look for key words in the question. Students identify key words in the question, such as compare, except, and author’s intent, that will guide them to choose the correct answer.
Read all answer choices before choosing the correct answer. After students read the question, they stop and think about the answer before reading all the possible answers. Then they eliminate the unlikely answer choices and identify the correct answer.
Answer easier questions first. Students answer the questions they know, skipping the difficult ones, and then they go back and answer the questions they skipped.
Make smart guesses. When students don’t know the answer to a question, they make a smart guess, unless there’s a penalty for guessing. To make a smart guess, students eliminate the answer choices they’re sure are wrong, think about what they know about the topic, and then pick the best remaining answer choice. The correct answer is often the longest one.
Stick with your first answer. Students shouldn’t second-guess themselves; their first answer is probably right. They shouldn’t change answers unless they’re certain that their first answer was wrong.
Pace yourself. Students budget their time wisely so they’ll be able to finish the test. They don’t spend too much time on any one question.
Check your work carefully. Students check that they’ve answered every question, if they finish early.