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State Specific Test Prep Questions
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - August 23rd, 2013
Due to the relative newness and controversy surrounding the State Standards Initiative, many parents and students are feeling a bit confused when it comes to state specific test preparation. Here, we’ll review the state specific testing concept and provide a link for practice questions.
State by State Options
State specific test prep can be confusing, in part, because while the State Standards Initiative is a nationwide plan, each state has options. They may choose to either reject or accept the Common Core testing battery outlined by the State Standards. They may also choose to add subjects if they feel they are critical to a well-rounded education. A good example is Minnesota, which has rejected the math portion of the Common Core but accepted the rest. Another great example of a potential option is handwriting; school officials in some states consider this ‘lost art’ a critical skill, and several are considering adding it to their Common Core battery. Other states, however, feel that keyboarding and computer skills are much more critical in today’s’ computer-driven environment.
State specific test prep is actually quite easy once you’ve determined precisely which sections of the Common Core have been accepted by your state. At http://www.corestandards.org/in-the-states, you’ll find an interactive map that shows a state-by-state breakdown of common core testing.
Helping Your Child Succeed
As with any standardized test, preparation is key to helping your child score highly and accurately. Thankfully, there are already a wealth of reliable options out there for state specific test prep. Keep in mind that if your state has not made a final decision yet, it’s best to wait until they have before ordering expensive study guides, as your child’s studying needs may change.
Hard-copy and software-based versions of most study guides are available. Many are also available in Spanish and several other languages. However, the strong focus the Common Core places on English language arts makes studying (at least partially) in English a good idea even for students whose first language is not English.