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State Standards Based Test Prep
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - August 1st, 2014
For many parents, the relatively recent introduction of the State Standards Initiative’s Common Core has represented a challenge. How much will this new way of learning and teaching change the fairly routine process of test prep? Thankfully, with a bit of research, standards-based test prep becomes as easy as any standardized test your child has taken in the past.
What Are the Standards?
The State Standards Common Core is a collection of subjects which have been determined by educational and academic experts to central to a solid, quality, well-rounded education. They include history, math, science and, in districts which make a distinction between the two, social studies as well. In addition, a very large focus is placed on English language arts or ELA.
These subjects were chosen because they represent a well-rounded education and also because they are some of the subjects most commonly identified as poorly understood by students at every grade level, including graduating high school seniors. In several informal studies, seniors had extreme difficulties in very simple core-related tasks, such as composing a grammatically correct resume or working basic math problems without the assistance of a calculator.
Common core subjects are also those which college professors and employers automatically assume a recent graduate possesses. A poor understanding and working knowledge of these skills places graduates at a disadvantage as they take their next step in life, whether that includes higher education or entering the workforce.
Standards-based test prep begins with knowing which Common Core components your state has rejected and accepted. Next, you can move onto selecting the right standards-based test prep materials for your child. Depending on how your child learns most effectively, this might mean sample questions such as those found at http://www.khanacademy.org/commoncore, questions you take out of their current textbooks, ready-made purchased study guides or a combination of several options.
When assisting with test prep, remember to avoid the dangers of pressuring your child, which can lead to testing anxiety. Older students studying on their own are just as vulnerable, often placing excessive pressure on themselves. Help them succeed with gentle reminders to take a break throughout study sessions.