4 Steps Toward Helping Your Child Get Ready for the Big State Test

Spring is here — meaning it’s that time of year when children across the country are asked to show what they know by taking their state’s annual tests in math and English language arts.

As the expert on your child, you see firsthand all the different ways he or she is developing. Along with grades and teacher feedback, the state test can help you know how well your child is mastering the grade-level skills needed to keep progressing in school.

Most state tests today go beyond the “fill in the bubble” tests, covering skills children need to succeed in the real world — like critical thinking and problem-solving. These tests also provide valuable feedback on your child’s academic progress and whether he or she is performing at or above grade level. With this detailed insight, you and your child’s teacher can best support his or her learning and growth.

As your child prepares to take this year’s annual state test, Learning Heroes partnered with the National PTA and Univision to connect you to your state’s practice test and other free resources. Here is what you need to know:

1. The what, when, and how. Ask your child’s teacher about details such as: How long does the test take? When will my child be taking the test in each subject? When and how will I get the results?

2. How to use the score report. Last year’s state test results can help you and the teacher understand where your child may still need extra support and where progress has been made.

3. Bring on the challenge! We know tests can be nerve-racking, but you can boost your child’s self-confidence by showing him or her how to take on challenges with a positive attitude and determination. Remind your child to take his or her time, and to try his or her best. By looking at the practice test with you, your child will know what to expect.

4. It’s about the big picture. Along with grades and classroom work, the state test is a good measure of how well your child is progressing in grade-level math and English. Even if your child gets good grades, check out the state test results to see how well he or she understands specific concepts needed for the next grade.

You can set your child up for success on testing day — familiarize yourself with what is expected on the test, review the grade-specific practice test, and be ready to ask your child’s teacher about how best to support your child’s preparation at home.

Bibb Hubbard is the founder and president of Learning Heroes, an organization that connects parents to useful information and simple actions they can take to help their child thrive in school and life.

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