Blessings on your long weekend As we look forward to this week, we recognize that it is that time of year again…time for standardized tests. The faculty and staff at Sacred Heart Cathedral School is getting ready. Test schedules are being coordinated, test booklets counted, and practice test booklets are being distributed. Students in grades two through eighth grade will be taking these standardized tests.
In the past, we have always administered the Iowa Basic Test. This year, in response to a request that all the Florida Catholic Schools are taking the same norm-referenced test, we will be administering the Terra Nova test. While this test is similar to the Iowa, there are some strategies we can utilize to help our students be successful with this new testing format.
We will only be administering one test per day and this will be first thing in the morning, right after prayer. Consequently, please have your child to school on time within the next two weeks. Your child’s teacher has been reviewing for the Terra Nova, but this is everyone’s first time taking the test.
Here are some proven test strategies:
Q: Should I guess if I don’t know the answer?
A: In the case of Terra Nova, the answer is yes. The Terra Nova does not take off points for answering incorrectly; they just don’t add any!
Q: What should I do if I’m stuck on a question?
A: Skip it. Your child can always return to the question once they have answered those they are more sure about. But advise your child to be careful about filling in the answer sheet. It may seem obvious to skip that line on the answer sheet when you skip the question, but in the more intense atmosphere of a testing situation, it’s easy to forget to do this.
Reassure your child – Tell your child the test will not give us the same data as MAP testing. This is a norm referenced test which compares students in the same grade across the state to see how they are learning compared to their peers.
Listen carefully – Listen carefully to instructions from the teacher. Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test. Look at ALL the answer choices before deciding on the correct, most complete answer.
Look for key words – Look for key words in test directions and questions such as: choose, describe, explain, compare, identify, except, not and but
Listen carefully to the instructions from the teacher, and read the directions to each question carefully. Be sure you understand exactly what you have to do for each part of the test. Look at ALL answer choices and choose the best and most complete answer. If, you are not sure which answer is correct eliminate choices that you know are incorrect. Then focus on the remaining choices.
Stay focused – Do not let other students distract you.
Please, please, please get to school early and get a good night’s sleep the night before. A protein breakfast is an added bonus.
Elizabeth Snow & Mary Adams