FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — It’s the time of year where teachers are gearing students up for standardized testing.
A good test day for kids comes down to getting enough sleep, having a full breakfast, and being filled with confidence in their test taking skills.
Kelli Dougan is the Director of Assessment, Research and Accountability and monitors the Fayetteville School District’s test data. She said standardized text anxiety is common among third through tenth graders, since the tests take multiple days to complete and have time limits.
The scores are finalized by the following school year for teachers to see which students may need extra support and who needs to be challenged, according to Dougan.
She says now’s not the time to be talking about scoring well for college or future careers. Instead, Dougan would rather see parents reduce test-induced stress by not putting any pressure on students.
“Just say, ‘You’re going to do the best you can do today,’ and that’s all they really need,” said Dougan. “They need that positive attitude, that ‘I believe in you’ attitude. That’s really the biggest piece parents can do for testing.”
Dougan said standardized tests also impact how the district ranks among others in Arkansas and across the country. She said if the district lands in the top five to 10 percent of schools in the state for academics or growth, it’ll receive reward money.
Still, Dougan said teachers help students create coping skills for test anxiety all year long, helping them now and in the future.
“For most students, they’re going to get to high school, and they’re going to be taking tests to either get into college, or there are career tests they’re going to have to take,” said Dougan. “We want them to be as prepared as possible. So part of our job is to get them ready to do whatever it is they want to do.”
During testing week, Dougan said parents can help to make students feel confident in those skills.