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Common Core State Standards Initiative Preparation
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - December 31st, 2014
Preparing for the Common Core State Standards is just another test that parents have to prepare for. Proper preparation can give your child an edge which may mean the difference between inaccurately low scores and scores which reflect your child’s true abilities.
What the Tests Entail
For a thorough description of Arkansas’ testing battery, you can visit http://www.commoncorearkansas.org/. Due to the relative newness of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, your state may or may not have a thorough breakdown of rejected and accepted test portions. Check online for the latest regarding your state’s decisions and use the Arkansas description as needed.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative tests are fairly basic. Children in pre-kindergarten through grade five will receive only the English literacy portions. Their tests will contain questions regarding history, social studies, math and science, but these questions will be incorporated into the English portions.
Students in grade six and higher will receive separate tests on history, social studies, science and math. These portions contain traditional testing aspects such as recalling figures, dates and facts, as well as a stronger focus on language-based skills such as comprehension.
Preparing for Testing Day
You can choose to purchase ready-made study materials for your child. There are hard-copy and software-based versions available. You can also choose to create your own study questions and practice tests by using any of the free online resources specifically tailored to this test, or simply by looking through your child’s current textbooks and choosing questions which contain a blend of both language skills and traditional fact-based knowledge.
Regardless of the method you choose, remember to keep Common Core State Standards practice sessions light, fun and age-appropriate. For example, a younger child simply doesn’t have the attention span needed for long practice sessions, and pushing them is likely to create stress. At any age, avoid excessive pressure. This can easily turn into testing anxiety, a potentially debilitating form of anxiety which can lead to inaccurately low test scores.