Saturday, March 7, 2015

Test Stress to Test Success

My administration, teachers, parents, and students have been stressing out about our upcoming state achievement tests. And with good reason.  Not only is our school grade and professional evaluation under scrutiny but this year we are giving a brand new test.  Gone is our previous state test, of more than a decade, and in its place is something new. But, not necessarily better. The rumor is the questions will be different than things we have seen in the past, like which two answers are most correct or choose all the answers that could be correct. That boggles my mind and I'm an adult with a lot of test-taking experiences under my belt.  Truthfully, those type of questions just seem developmentally inappropriate to me.  It saddens me for my young friends who, it sounds like, will be subjected more to showing whether they can figure out how to answer the questions, rather than showing any actual academic knowledge or skill related to the subjects being tested.

So what's a School Counselor to do?  How do you help students go from test stress to test success? Some do big pep rallies, give away treats, special pencils, or plan big post test celebrations. Others keep it low key and offer suggestions for reducing anxiety and teach some test taking strategies. I have done both and each has its place depending on your population and other School Counselor job expectations. This year I am keeping it simple.  Students in grades 3-5 will be visiting me for a Test Success Lesson.  That's it. Here is  my Test Success PowerPoint  and lesson plan to help prepare your students for whatever standardized testing is in their future.

Good Luck!  I wish you and your students much test success!

Many thanks David Finkle, creator of Mr. Fitz, for his permission to publish his cartoons in this post.
Check out my friend, fellow educator, and cartoonist at
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1 comment:

  1. Wow, it is an amazing post on test stress to test success. You know I also have been stressing out about the upcoming LSAT. I am lacking the skills to solve LSAT Logic Games successfully and I know that this part is very important. So just trying to find free LSAT Logic Games for more practice. Can anyone help me regarding it?