Monday, April 13, 2009

or-chid you not

Some of my students will be taking Minnesota's graduation standards exams tomorrow. This has negated many of their potential practice hours. I have strong opinions about the testing process, the actual "meaning" of the exam, and its results.

Honestly, as adults, did the score of your exam change anything? As I read the literature sent home to prepare our children, the biggest impact will be on the school's ranking within the state and nation. Dear student, don't let your school down! Oh please, school, don't let your students down.

In general, the following advice is simply good for life. But perhaps, we all could be reminded.

In case you are doing something tomorrow that will "affect your whole life", as the kids were told, here are some helpful hints to secure a good score. After all, we all know that these scores determine our futures, right?

Ø Eat a good breakfast. Avoid sugar and caffeine.

Ø Get a good night’s sleep the night before the test.

Ø Wear comfortable clothes. Our classrooms are generally about 71 degrees. A sweater or sweatshirt to put on or take off may provide more comfort if temperatures fluctuate.

Ø Allow yourself time. Arrive early to allow a few minutes to collect yourself.

Ø Read over the test and plan your approach.

Ø Relax yourself physically. If you notice you’re not thinking well, lay your test aside and take several deep breaths.


  1. You can't go too far wrong with that advice whether you're doing something "life changing" or just trying to have a good day. Thanks.

  2. Hey John! these are the same as when we perform, aren't they! How are you?

  3. In California, it is the STAR testing that is so important. I have many friends that are teachers. I just wish the tests were more about the students. But, unfortunately, most of the pressue seems to be on the teachers to get the kids performances up to make the schools look good in the rankings. I doesn't seem to be as much geared at making sure the kids are happy and well educated. Interesting.


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