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Preparing for Tests by State
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - March 26th, 2014
Virtually all parents of school age children in the US and many other countries are familiar with standardized tests. In fact, many parents, teachers and students alike have begun to feel as though each new school years brings with it a new standardized test which requires special preparation
While the ideal of tests by state may seem to confuse and complicate matters even more, there’s actually nothing to worry about. Tests by state are the same as any other standardized tests; they simply require a small amount of research. Once you know precisely which components of the Common Core your state has rejected or accepted, you can help your child prep as you would for any other standardized testing battery.
What is the Common Core?
The Common Core, created by the State Standards Initiative, was created with the intention of ensuring that each graduating senior is fully equipped with the basic skills critical for success in today’s world. By testing students each year at grade-appropriate levels, this goal is furthered by ensuring that students don’t advance through the grades until they have learned the curriculum for a particular year.
Common Core tests by state can vary, but the original common core battery includes history, math and science, with a strong focus on English language arts (ELA). These subjects were chosen because they are nearly universally believed to make up a well-rounded education. It should be noted that in some areas, where a distinction is made between history and ‘social studies,’ these subjects may be tested separately.
Tests by State
Regarding the State Standards Initiative, each state has the option to reject or accept the common core battery. They also have the option to add subjects which they feel are of high importance. To date, most states and territories of the US have accepted the common core battery as-is.
Determining your state’s decision is the first step in test preparation. Once you know which subjects will be tested, you can help your child prepare for the test in several ways. You can purchase ready-made study guides and packages, in both hard-copy and software-based formats. You can use free online practice questions and quizzes, such as the options at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/common-core-sample-questions/. New York state has accepted the full common core, making their sample questions applicable for most of the US.
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