Dr. Jenny Klipp
Although standardized achievement tests (such as the Stanford 10) measure how much a student has learned about various subjects, standardized aptitude tests (such as the OLSAT) measure a student’s ability to learn as well as his/her mastery of skills that are considered vital to educational success. At BJA, achievement tests are administered yearly beginning in K5. Aptitude tests are administered periodically. Together, these tests give parents and teachers a picture of a student’s progress, strengths, weaknesses, and achievement.
While day-to-day classwork, homework, and classroom participation are other methods used to gain insight into a student’s understanding and knowledge of material, standardized testing is a key element in the total picture. With testing just around the corner, there are a few ways parents can help each child be prepared to perform his/her best during testing week:
- Adequate sleep is extremely important. A well-rested student is better able to stay focused and engaged during the long hours of testing. An extra 30 to 60 minutes of rest each night during testing week can significantly impact a student’s testing experience.
- Nutritional meals and snacks help keep students’ minds clear and focused on the tests. Sugary breakfasts or snacks may offer a tasty treat or initial energy boost; but unfortunately, they often then leave students tired and hungry—making it hard to focus. Fruit and protein provide a boost of energy that will last longer.
- Having the tools for the job ahead is vital. A fresh supply of sharpened pencils and plenty of erasers keep students from being distracted and losing time during tests. Testing week is also a great week to dig into a new book. Students are encouraged to read a book when finished with a test, so why not suggest a new adventure to keep your child motivated?
- Be ready when the bell rings. While being on time is always important, it is crucial that students are on time (and even early!) on test days. Getting to school early allows students time to get unpacked and mentally focused before the bell rings.
- Pray with your child. Some students can be apprehensive about what to expect or about the tests themselves. Encourage your child to take his time, keep moving, and do his very best. While teachers pray at the start of each testing day, praying with mom or dad can really help a child to relax and have a positive outlook on the experience.