As achievement testing starts next week, students (and parents) may wonder why we spend this time on testing?
Standardized achievement testing provides to parents, students, and the school an objective measurement of academic progress. Teachers use their own assessments to determine student progress in a subject, and standardized testing provides a second measurement to compare the performance of the school as well as individual students.
Ability testing provides another objective measurement. When compared to the student’s achievement, ability testing helps parents and teachers discern whether a student is performing at, above, or below expectation.
How can your student prepare? Because standardized achievement tests measure how much a student has learned about various subjects (e.g., reading and math), a student’s progress in his academic classes is most important. Parents can help their students prepare for testing by encouraging good school habits:
- Be well rested. Adequate sleep—and even an extra hour of sleep the week of testing—enables students to maintain focus during testing.
- Eat well. Nutritious meals and snacks during testing week are important—as they are during other times that mental concentration is needed. After the initial burst of energy they give, sugary breakfasts and snacks leave a student tired, hungry, and struggling to focus on the material at hand.
- Be prepared. Having the right tools, such as sharpened pencils and good erasers, helps students avoid loss of focus and time.
- Be on time. Being on time—even early—on testing days can help a student to unpack, settle in, mentally focus, and be ready to go when testing begins.
- Pray. Standardized achievement testing does not measure a student’s value, nor does it congratulate a student for the intellectual capacity that is given by God. Instead, it simply attempts to give a snapshot of a student’s current academic achievement. Remind students to do their best for the Lord and not be apprehensive about the outcome. Teachers pray at the start of each testing day, and praying with family before school can really help a student to relax and have a positive outlook on the experience.