Practical Testing Tips from a Teacher | Polk County Moms
kids taking a test in school

It’s Florida State Assessment time! This is always a stressful time for students, teachers, and parents. We wanted to help parents with practical advice for their test takers. The best way we could do that is to ask a teacher for advice. We reached out to Janet Cash who is a middle school teacher in Polk County for her tips and suggestions.

Any teacher will tell you that state testing is nothing more than a snapshot in time. As a teacher, I always try to remind students and teachers, and my own kids of this. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to encourage, support, and help your child feel comfortable on testing days.

Another thing is to on test day is to make sure they eat breakfast. It’s amazing how a good breakfast can set the tone for the day. Once the kids are at school, it’s important for them to remember to do their best. Encourage your kids to take their time completing the test. If they finish early they just have to sit there anyway so why not double-check to make sure they didn’t miss anything? A great test-taking strategy during the reading portion is to read the questions before reading the passage. This helps in many ways: they get an idea of what they should be looking for in the passage and they see how the questions are asked. After they read the questions, they can make notes and pay special attention when it comes to that section of the reading.

It’s also important that they understand HOW they are being asked to respond, I know that sounds strange, but statewide testing is no longer JUST multiple choice. They might be asked to determine the main idea of a text, and in the second part of the question be asked to highlight examples in the reading. They might be asked to highlight specific parts of the text or sort items into a table. If they are taking the writing test as many students are in the next two weeks, it’s extra important that they understand what they are being asked to write about. It’s incredibly important especially in reading questions that they refer back to the passage or problem. It’s really easy for kids to make silly mistakes, so it’s important for them to go back and check their work. For example, a question might ask them to select the answer that DOESN’T answer the question, if they only skim the question they may miss how they are supposed to answer. 

For extra practice or to see what the test looks like, you can visit https://fsassessments.org/.

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