The state of Indiana required testing (ISTEP+) is done in 2 parts. A written evaluation given in late February and a Multiple Choice version given in April are combined by the state. Scores are normally available by late June. Below are a few tips to follow:
The week before:
Move any scheduled appointments to a date outside testing week or to the afternoons if possible.
Encourage your student to familiarize themselves with the writing process and math concepts such as perimeters, areas, and distance measurement.
Discuss the upcoming test and what may be happening to help prepare them for it.
Calculators will be available but you may purchase a simple one that performs addition, subtraction and division for use on the ISTEP. The more familiar the student is with the devise the less stress and anxiety will be experienced.
The night before:
Ensure your student eats a healthy dinner.
Plan on a normal nights sleep.
If possible avoid situations that may cause excessive stress such as arguing.
Have the student pack their testing supplies and reading material for down times.
Lay out comfortable clothes that meet the dress code for the next day.
If stress and anxiety are a problem play a game, go for a walk. Physical and mental activity will help relieve the stress.
Do not permit your student to attempt to “cram” for any portion of the test. Review writing styles or math formulas but not to the extent that it creates excessive stress and anxiety.
Help your student create a plan for the testing the following day by discussing:
- What tests are to be taken?
- Where will they take it and with whom?
- Who else is in the test room with them that they know?
- Build their self-confidence. They have been taught everything on the test. They know it. They only need to write it down.
The morning of:
Have the student up early enough to enable them to prepare without rushing.
Eat a healthy but not heavy breakfast. Remember we are testing at 8:00 a.m.
Go aver the testing schedule so they are familiar with what will be happening that day.
A good way to set the mood for the day is to mirror what test will be taken while eating breakfast by:
Reading a well written text on Reading Language Arts test days.
Perform a few math problems on math days.
During the test:
Breath. As simple as it may seem many of our younger students find themselves holding their breath creating unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Encourage your student to have pencils sharpened (mechanical pencils will not be permitted) and be in their seat early to avoid the rush and additional stress and anxiety.
Help instill confidence. Get them to “Self talk”. They can do this well!