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Prepping for the Common Core
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - June 14th, 2014
Virtually every parent with school age children has become familiar with the process of prepping for standardized tests. The common core tests are no different. Although they represent a relatively new development in education and standardized testing, the common core tests require just as much prep work as past tests.
Since the common core is based on a new way of teaching and tests learned knowledge relevant to each particular grade, your child’s current textbooks are an excellent resource. You can create your own common core prep questions by looking through each textbook and choosing pieces of text which offer both ELA (English language arts) and fact-based questions.
Free online questions are also a great way to help your child prepare for an upcoming common core test. At http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/common-core/, you can view North Carolina’s current common core requirements. Since North Carolina, along with the vast majority of US states and territories, has already adopted the common core as-is, these requirements can be used by parents in most areas. For more specifics, contact your state’s Department of Education. Once you’re certain of which subjects will be tested, you can find the appropriate free online questions.
Purchasing ready-made study prep materials is perhaps the most reliable and common way of preparing for the common core tests. While these guides can be expensive, the most reliable guides have been specifically created for and tailored to each state, grade level and age, making them a very comprehensive study enhancement.
How to Prep
Whether your child is young and you’re running practice sessions or they’re older and studying independently, keeping study sessions appropriately short is crucial to testing success. Many parents, just like many older students, feel pressure to cram as much studying as possible into a short amount of time. While this may seem like a productive way to study, it can actually cause burnout and lead to inaccurately low test scores. Keep things light and age-appropriate in the case of younger children. Help your older student avoid burnout by routinely reminding them to take breaks.