Surviving the TCAP Season

With the end of the year comes the anticipation of summer for both students and parents. Before the fun in the sun can begin, students around the area must take standardized testing at the end of the school year. For younger students this involves TCAP testing.

TCAP testing for students in Jefferson County will be held April 17-May 3. April 19 will begin the first part of testing including a written portion of the test. The second, third, and forth part of exams will take place on April 24 and 25th. The final portion of the test will take place on May 1st and 2nd. If, for some reason, your student misses a portion of the exam, several makeup days are included in the testing schedule.

Testing season is as important to parents as it is to students, so parents should know several tips to follow to aid in testing success. First and foremost, experts suggest making sure to put the testing dates on the family calendar. Very little is as unwelcome in school as a surprise test. Talk with your student about working hard on their exams, focusing more on trying their best rather than making a perfect score. The TCAP uses experimental questions to gauge how the test should be arranged in coming years, so your child isn’t necessarily expected to know all of the material.

Encourage good sleeping habits during testing season. Students should get a full eight to ten hours of sleep several nights before testing begins. It is suggested to establish a routine around a certain bed time that works best for everyone. Also, a good breakfast is crucial to testing success. Make sure that the meal is balanced and not too sugary or full of too much protein.

On the actual day of the test, remind your student that there are several methods to help them deal with their nerves or anxiousness. A tried and true method to help reduce stress is taking five deep breaths, counting each one slowly. They can also try clenching and unclenching their hands, providing similar stimulation as a stress ball. Above all else, remind them that is it important to pace themselves, and that it is okay to guess if they do not know the correct answer to a question. You can’t get the answer right if you don’t write an answer down. If the testing season starts to get to your child (or you, for that matter), remember that the end of the school year is just over this testing hurdle!

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

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