My son is in third grade this year, and in Massachusetts, that’s the first year of state standardized testing. With this being all new to us, we’ve figured out some good tricks and tips that have helped us get through the first year without any issues.
While we don’t have his results yet, he feels pretty confident that he did well. Here are some tips that we used to help him feel ready for the exams.
Get the Scoop
This year, the exam was MCAS 2.0, which is new to our town. In the past, the original MCAS was take, and one pilot year of the PARCC test, which is national. MCAS 2.0 is actually still in pilot mode in our town– only two schools did this version this year. The test was online, and the kids took the test on Chrome Books. Luckily, we were given a head’s up about this. My son has an iPod, but does’t have a lot of regular exposure to full computer keyboard, so I found some online typing games and resources for him to practice at home.
Also, the teachers let the kids bring candy into class during the test, as well as a book to read while they were waiting for others to finish. I have to be honest, when my son told me this, I didn’t believe him! But yes, teachers allowed certain candy to be brought in (Jolly Ranchers were our choice.) Also, teachers allowed the kids to bring in a book of their choice to read in case they finished early.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
I know this is an obvious choice, but getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important before an exam. My son sometimes has a difficult time falling asleep, so we stopped all screens in the evening and had a low key night. No late snacks, either, as that sometimes can hinder his sleep.
Protein is a good choice for test mornings. Many times we’ll do eggs or breakfast burritos (we do frozen, but I definitely need to try to make these on my own.) Peanut butter on toast is also a great idea!
Most Importantly, No Stress!
In our case, the standardized tests have ZERO impact on my son’s grade or anything that affects him personally. It’s really all toa make sure that the school is doing its job and that the students are learning what they need to learn in the grade– nothing more. Don’t get stressed out about it at all, because your kids will read off of that and it won’t benefit them at all.