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Standardized Exams by State
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - February 12th, 2014
Although parents of school age children in the US and around the world are all to familiar with the world of standardized exams, the relatively new State Standards Initiative Common Core tests have confused many. The confusion stems from the fact that standardized exams by state may be different. Here, we’ll review the facts and clear up the confusion.
The Common Core is a collection of subjects which are believed to be central, or ‘core,’ to a thorough and well-rounded education. These include history (and social studies where a distinction between the two is made), math and science, as well a strong focus on English language arts (ELA).
While the Common Core Initiative strives for a nationwide agreed-upon set of educational standards, each state has the option to reject or accept the Common Core in parts or as a whole. They can also choose to add subjects which are not included in the original Common Core, but which state education officials feel are critical to a well-rounded education. The vast majority of US states and territories have already accepted the Common Core as-is, without making changes. Some exceptions include the state of Minnesota, which accepted all of the Common Core except for the math portion, and the subject of handwriting, which some states feel is a critical skill and others feel is rather outdated.
A quick online search will let you know which portions of the Common Core your state has accepted. Standardized exams by state will vary in accordance with the individual rejection or acceptance of each core subject.
Preparation for standardized exams by state is easy once you know which subjects will be tested. Despite the relative newness of the Common Core, there is a wide array of study materials available. You can choose from hard-copy or software-based guides, create your own using your child’s textbooks and sample questions such as those found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/common-core-sample-questions/, or utilize a mixture of several options.
When choosing questions on your own using textbooks, remember the test’s strong focus on ELA and select plenty of questions which include language-based skills.