Category Archives: Standardized Test Preparation

Test Taking Tips

Test Taking Tips for Parents

How to Prepare Your Child for the Test

From Evolved Education
Be Knowledgeable
A parent’s role is to ensure that a child is thriving and preparing for and taking a standardized test does not replace that important job. One of the most important conversations we have with our parents is educating them about the test. Become informed about the test your child will take (Format, Logistics) and how to best support learning at home is key for successful students.
In addition to the services, assessments, and simulated tests Evolved Education creates for our students and families, there are many other resources available for parents. If your child has a 504 or IEP, be sure to let the testing facility know and then prepare your child accordingly. It’s important to ensure that no one has any surprises on the day of the test.

Make Skill Building Part of Your Daily Routine 
Children are constantly learning from everything and everyone around them. With our younger students – three-to-five year olds- it is a steady stream of “how” and “why” questions. Use this natural curiosity and your responses to them as part of your daily routine, to support your child’s skills that are needed for these first tests.
When we prepare the children for these early tests, there are three important aspects to the test prep: content knowledge, test taking skills, and a cognitive flexibility to focus on a range of types of questions. Underlying all of this is the stamina to sit and work on the material.
With just a little extra thought, you will be building on your child’s natural sense of learning and questioning- and filing your child up with the skills that are part of these early tests. “Test prep” then becomes easy, because learning is engaging and a wonderful part of your child’s everyday life with you and other people and experiences.
Here are a few of our favorites:
  • When you take a walk or play with toys- categories of information are all around you.
  • Before you go out for the day, or when you are going to do something together in the apartment, talk about what you are going to do “first”, “second” and “third”. Have your child repeat the “plan” to you and ask your child as you complete one part of the plan, what is next? Not only are you reinforcing these positional terms, you are supporting your child’s memory and recall strengths
  • For example when you see a bus, a car and a train- beyond identifying them individually, classify them as “transportation” in your conversation. When you see a dog, have your child name 3 or 4 “animals”. Try examples of categories such as: things that fly, cold things, things you wear, etc. Building toward higher level categorical information is an important skill.
  • When you are putting food on a plate- count with your child how many string beans the child has and how many you have- who has “more”, who has “less”- how many “more or less”? How many do we have to add to the amount which is “less” to have an “equal” amount on both plates? This can be a very motivating example if you use cookies! This builds early math skills and an understanding of the associated words.
Foster Independence
Allow your child to take the lead with regard to their standardized test preparation experience. A child’s standardized test experience should be characteristic of his or her whole academic experience. While it sounds silly, children in Pre-K are able to show their comfort level and gain the skills needed to walk away from you during testing. One of our favorite stories is the child who walked into the G&T Test for Kindergarten and said his name was Batman. While his mother made sure the proctors knew who he was, he was calm and prepared.
Feelings Matter – Even Yours! –
  • Pay close attention to how you are feeling about the standardized test. If you are anxious and worried about the test, your child may be as well. Check in with your child about how he or she is feeling about the test.
  • Work closely with your child’s teacher and tutors to help as needed with feelings of anxiety or ambivalence.
  • Over preparing or under preparing a child for a test may translate into unsuccessful results and/or undesired outcomes for a child. How your child feels about a test or during the testing period matters.
  • If your child is experiencing social stress or emotional issues, he or she may not perform at his or her best.
Be Prepared. Plan – Before – During- and After the Test
Before the test, engage your child in a discussion around the days leading up to the test and have your child jot down notes with their response. Ask your child questions such as:”How will the days leading up to the test feel and what might this look like? What can you do to feel prepared, stay busy, and keep calm? What can we (mom and dad) do to help support you in the days leading up to the test?”
Create a “During the test plan.”Engage your child in a discussion around visualizing what it will feel and look like to walk in the testing room and how to cope. Have your child write down the plan and any other thoughts. Ask your child, “How might it feel when you walk into the testing room and sit down to take that test? Can you explain what that will look like in detail? How will you cope with nerves in those moments?
Have a plan for after the test: Engage your child in a discussion around the experience after having completed the test. How might your child feel? What if it feels like things went well? What if things feel like they did not go well? Create a plan of how to manage nerves around this and how to keep busy while waiting for the results.
Tests are stressful! It will be important to work on coping skills ahead of the test by engaging in discussions about the child’s feelings, hopes, and concerns and plans of action to help the child feel more grounded and safer.
 Discuss A Testing Strategy
How will your child tackle the test? What are they thinking? What is their approach? One suggestion is to use Evolved’s 3-Tier Approach to Test-Taking:
●     STEP 1: Read through the shorter questions first and ONLY answer items that you are 90-100% confident in knowing the correct answer.
●     STEP 2: Read through the longer questions (lengthier text and steps) and ONLY answer items that you are 90-100% confident in knowing the correct answer.
●     STEP 3: Go back to the start and complete all of the remaining unanswered questions that you felt less confident in knowing the correct answer.
At Evolved Education, our team of teachers and specialists are ready to help your student and your family better understand what skills they need to be prepared. If you would like to discuss how our team can help your family, please fill out our Student Profile so that we can better understand your child’s current needs!

Understanding Your Child’s State Test Scores

Understanding your Child’s State Test Scores

By Mary E. Miele M.A.Ed, Special Education Teacher

What tests did your child take?

Each spring, students in grades 3-8 take part in the New York State Testing Program as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The English Language Arts and Mathematics examinations given are based on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) adopted by New York State in July 2010. However, it wasn’t until the 2012-2013 school year that the assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics were used to measure a student’s progress towards mastering the Common Core Learning Standards. Students take the ELA and math assessments annually through grade 8. Science and Social Studies assessments are administered in grades 4 and 8 but are not Common Core aligned.

What skills are tested?

The ELA Common Core examination tests your child’s ability to comprehend key ideas and details presented in grade level texts. Their reading comprehension score is based on their responses to multiple choice questions that measure the common core learning standards. The mathematics common core examination tests your child’s ability to solve equations using the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), base ten, fractions, the number system, ratios and proportions, measurement and data, functions and geometry; which are determined by their grade level.

Your Score Report Decoded

You can locate your child’s score on your NYC Schools Account: https://www.mystudent.nyc/. You need to have your child’s ID number (found on his or her report card) as well as an Account Creation Code (provided by your child’s school) to register.

For both the ELA and Math examinations, there are four major scores reported.

Scale Score: The scale score is determined by the number of points your child earns on the test. The higher the number of points your child earned, the higher his or her scale score. There may be no scale score listed if, (1) your child did not complete a sufficient number of questions on the test to generate a score, (2) if your child was medically excused, or (3) if there was an administrative error.

Quick Tip: You should NOT compare your child’s scale score this year to the scale score from previous exam years. The range of scale scores change by grade level and should not be compared as they may falsely indicate a better/worse performance than what actually occurred.

Performance Level 2016-2017: Students are assigned a performance level based on how they perform on the test this year. There are four possible performance levels:

NYS Level 1: Students performing at this level are well below proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are insufficient to meet grade expectations and Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 2: Students performing at this level are somewhat proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are on track to meet current New York high school graduation requirements but are insufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 3: Students performing at this level are proficient in meeting grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are sufficient to meet Common Core Learning Standards.

NYS Level 4: Students performing at this level are currently excelling in meeting the grade level standards. The skills they demonstrate are more than sufficient to meet grade level and Common Core Learning Standards.

Overall State Percentile Rank: The percentile rank compares your child’s scale score to the scores of other NY state students who took the same test this year. The rank is reported on a scale of 1-99. The higher your child’s percentage rank, the better your child did compared to other students. For example, if your child’s percentage rank is 50%, it means that your child did better than 50% of all students in their grade who took the test.

Performance Level 2015-2016: The second performance level listed indicates your child’s performance in the previous year’s examination. The 2015-2016 performance level can be compared to the 2016-2017 performance level (this year’s level) to determine if your child has improved. If your child’s performance level is lower this year than last year, it can indicate that there may be some interventions that are needed to ensure that your child continues to progress. These interventions can include providing test preparation, tutoring, and/or test accommodations offered through a 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Quick Tip: Students taking the 3rd grade test will not have a previous year performance level as this is the first year of administration. Use this year’s performance level as a baseline to compare to in future years.

Next Steps

Understanding your child’s results is just the first part. While the results may or may not have been what you expected, your understanding of the results can help you support your child during the school year and help them prepare for their next assessment.

If your child’s performance was a Level 1 or Level 2:

  • Speak to your child’s teacher to get an understanding of what standards they struggle with the most. Ask for suggestions on how you can support learning at home.
  • If you went through tutoring support, review that support with your child’s tutor and create a list of what improvements could be made for next year’s process.
  • Advocate for your child to receive additional support as needed. Students whose performance level is either Level 1 or Level 2 are eligible for academic intervention services (AIS) from their schools.
  • Speak to your child about their testing experience. Ask about any fears, anxieties or difficulties they faced during testing. Your child’s feedback may help you determine what type of support they need during this time.
  • Find ways to help your child practice skills outside of school. For example, household activities like cooking, baking and shopping can help your child practice skills that will help them during testing. These activities can help students develop skills such as following multi-step directions and calculating measurements that are assessed during testing.
  • Encourage independent reading at home. All children can benefit from additional independent reading time, not just struggling students. However, some students are more hesitant to pick up a book and read without encouragement. Find a book series or genre that your child particularly enjoys and don’t worry about how “educational” it is. Even magazines, newspapers and comic books can be good material to encourage reading.
  • Consider having your child evaluated for special education services for additional support that they may need. Many students struggle silently with learning disabilities that are unsupported and are not allowing them to demonstrate all that they know and can do. Students who qualify for special education services are entitled to receive support throughout the school year and testing accommodations during assessments. Testing accommodations that may be considered include breaks during testing, administration in a distraction free location and questions read aloud. These supports can make all the difference for some students. In addition, even if they receive these supports, there are no future implications on their post-secondary school and career options.

If your child’s performance was a Level 3 or Level 4:

  • Continue to encourage your child’s progress and do not look at the results as a reason to lower expectations for their performance. Some children (and parents) develop a false confidence that can cause them to slack on school and homework. Learning is a continual process that should be guided by your child’s curiosity and your encouragement.
  • Challenge your child’s critical thinking skills. Regardless of what grade level tests they take, all assessments test your child’s ability to think critically and analyze information presented. Help your child develop critical thinking skills by asking open ended questions, encouraging them to make decisions independently, and having them make connections between what they learn and what they experience in life.
  • Help your child develop their group work skills, their social skills and reinforce academic skills by having them act as a peer tutor. School is a very important aspect to a child’s social life and development. Giving students the opportunity to interact with their peers in an academic setting is preferred by many. Many advanced students thrive in this leadership opportunity. In addition, some struggling students benefit from learning directly from their peers.
  • Speak to your child’s school about possible early promotion. Can they be switched to a higher level math class based on a strong performance? While you don’t want to push them if they are not ready, you also want to ensure that they are appropriately challenged for their ability levels. Nothing is worse than a student who loses motivation due to being “bored” and unchallenged in the classroom. Inquire about enrichment programs that may be a good fit for your child.

Note about how to discuss your child’s results: 

The way you handle your child’s test results is a very personal choice and decision. I’m simply making some suggestions here from my experience in working with families and students to help navigate your own process.

What should I share with my child? 

I advise being factual about test results with children. Tell them the scores matter of factly and work with them on a plan for what they will do to meet expectations this coming year. Provide suggestions on how to talk about their test scores with peers — or better yet advise them to keep testing information private. Even if scores are at expectation, it is important to review the preparation and make a list of what worked and what did not work.

What should our “talk” look like? 

Give factual information. If you are feeling elated, excited, upset, frustrated, disappointed, or angry — cope with your feelings first. Talk with your child when you are calm. Ask your child a series of precise questions about the results and the preparation process such as: What do you think of these results? Do you have any questions? How do you feel your preparation went this year? Did you have enough time for instruction, enough independent practice, enough mock assessments? Did you have a successful mindset, discipline and/or attitude about the testing? What skills and concepts are solid and what may need improvement?

Write out the answers and use them to create a “goal sheet” for this coming year.

In addition to interpreting results and talking with your child about the goals, give your child a way to talk about testing with friends and teachers. I think if all parents talked with their children about the fact that results are private information — we would be all better off. But, since the questions and conversations do tend to happen — you may want to suggest your child know what to say if friends start to ask. If a friend asks, “What did you get on the ELA?” The student may be able to just say, “I did great – how did you do?” and give them ways to handle the peers who may really want to know a number, “You know, I don’t really want to publicize my numbers — that’s really private info, you know!” is a great line to use, for instance. Preparedness will help students to feel better about their social interactions.

What if my child did not meet expectations? 

First of all, remember that these are test scores, and while they are one important aspect of your child’s academic experience, they are also a snapshot of that one experience. Any number of variables may contribute to a child’s success during test taking. At Evolved, we view children as whole people — academics, learning, school and home experiences as well as their social, emotional and physical development come into play at any time during their testing.

If you are feeling disappointed in the results, it may be best to talk with me or with your spouse or another parent before you speak to your child. You want your mindset to be one of constructive criticism instead of destructive criticism. The point is — be frustrated, be disappointed, and then get to work on supporting your child. And remember — this is your child’s journey. It may not go the way you have planned, but it will work out and we can partner together to support you and your child along the way!

What if I don’t want to talk with my child right now? 

I would say that if your child is in 3rd or 4th or maybe even 5th grade that is okay, but if their friends will be talking about it, it is best for you to talk with your child about the results first. You will want your child to be able to ask you questions and not their friends. Most children have been involved in the preparation for the ELA and NYS Math Tests, so they are aware that results will come out. While they may not be aware of this happening this week, once they get back to school, they may have conversations with their friends about the tests.

Other questions? Contact me — I am happy to help!

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me at mary@evolveded.com or at 917 388 3862.

 

2017-2018 SHSAT

 There is a new SHSAT 

As you may have heard, the NYC Department of Education has been planning some changes in the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admission Test), which some 30,000 NYC eighth graders take every fall in hopes of admission to one of the city’s eight specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant High School and Bronx High School of Science.

The key takeaways are these:
  • No more scrambled paragraphs or logical reasoning
  • Grammar, syntax and editing questions will replace the removed content on the verbal side of the test
  • The test will be longer
  • The test will include “experimental” questions that are not counted toward scores
  • The math test will include some student-produced “grid-in” questions
  • 4 answer choices instead of 5

These changes are being implemented in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s desire to increase the enrollment in specialized high schools of historically underrepresented demographic groups. The number of African-American and Latino students at the schools has been falling in recent years, a development that has generated much public criticism. Whether these changes will move the needle on diversity is an open question that remains to be answered. In terms of test prep, it is possible that the new content on the test will necessitate more tutoring and teaching.

We have attached a DOE memo summarizing the changes to the test as of Fall 2017. These include:

  • Standard testing time is increasing from 150 minutes to 180 minutes.
  • The verbal section is being renamed the English Language Arts (ELA) section.
  • The ELA section will no longer include scrambled paragraphs and logical reasoning questions.
  • The ELA section will now include questions that address revising/editing skills, in addition to continuing to have reading comprehension passages and questions; all ELA questions will be multiple choice questions.
  • The math section will now include five “grid-in” questions, in which students must solve a computational question and provide the correct numerical answer, rather than selecting the answer from various multiple choice options; the math section will also continue to have multiple choice word problems and computational questions.
  • All multiple choice questions will now have 4 answer choices instead of the previous design with 5 answer choices.
  • Each section (ELA and math) will include 57 items: 47 items in each section will be scored, with each question worth 1 raw score point, and the remaining 10 items in each section will be field test items that are not used in determining a student’s score. Scoring and the process for using test results to determine admission to the Specialized High Schools is not changing. See further below for details.

Click here to access the DOE site where you can find information about the SHSAT.

Reprinted from our friends at Noodle Pros

Test Preparation and Supporting School: Especially for Middle School Families

EEC’s Presentation for Middle School Families

By Mary Miele, Founder and Learning Specialist

At our presentation for parents of students in Middle School with NYC Admissions Solutions and Maurice Frumkin, information on three aspects of supporting school was given. First, parents can support their children through test preparation. Second, parents can learn productive ways to ensure their children thrive in their role as student during a crucial academic time. And lastly, parents can learn the timeline for next steps as students enter high school.

I. Three steps to support your child through test preparation.

  1. Learn about your child’s testing opportunities and the tests.

ISEE is the Independent School Entrance Examination. A student can take this exam only once during the admission cycle. The verbal reasoning section of the ISEE contains synonyms and sentence completion questions. The quantitative reasoning section of the ISEE contains quantitative comparisons.

Sub Test # of ?s Time
Verbal Reasoning 40 20
Quantitative Reasoning 37 35 min
Reading Comprehension 36 35 min
Mathematics Achievement 47 40 min
Essay one prompt 30 min
Total Time 2hrs 40min

SSAT is the Secondary School Admissions Test. A student can take this exam as many times as he or she prefers to during the admission cycle. The verbal reasoning section of the SSAT contains analogies.

Sub Test # of ?s Regular Time 1.5 Time
Verbal Reasoning 60 30 45
Quantitative Reasoning 50 60 90
Reading Comprehension 40 40 min 60
Experimental 16 15 min not provided
Essay one prompt 25 min 40 min
Total Time with break 3 hours, 5 min 4 hrs, 10 min

SHSAT is the Specialized High School Admissions Test. A student can take this test only once during the admissions cycle—typically in late October. SHSAT Class begins Saturday, April 2nd! Sign up by emailing info@evolveded.com.

Sub Test # of ?s Total Points Total Time
Scrambled Paragraphs 5 10
Logical Reasoning 10 10
Reading 30 30
Math 50 50
2 hrs 30 min

ELA is the English Language Arts Test.

Day One tests only reading. This part of the test will entail multiple-choice questions on a set # of literary and informational reading passages, which will vary in length depending on grade level.

Day Two is split equally between testing writing and testing reading. This part of the test will entail multiple-choice questions based on a passage and one extended response and 3 short-responses based on two passages.

Day Three tests writing. This part of the test will entail an extended response and short response questions on reading passages.

This test is untimed, but students should finish with enough stamina to perform well. Partial credit is given on short and extended responses. It is important that your child know the rubrics for grading.

For Grade Six and Seven ELA: Click here for 2016 Information on the ELA Test. See below for the rubrics for the short and extended responses.

ELA Grade Six Short Response Rubric

ELA Extended Response Rubric

NYS Math Test is the New York State Math Test.

Day One has multiple-choice questions.

Day Two has multiple-choice questions

Day Three has short-response questions and extended-response questions.

This test is untimed, but students should finish with enough stamina to perform well. Partial credit is given on short and extended responses.  It is important that your child know the rubrics for grading.

For Grade Six and Seven NYS Math Test: Click here for 2016 Information on the NYS Math Test. See below for the rubrics for the short and extended responses.

NYS Math Test Short Response Rubric

NYS Math Test Extended Response Rubric

CTP-4 is the Comprehensive Testing Program. It is a rigorous assessment for high achieving students in various content areas. Many private, independent and parochial schools use the CTP-4.

Verbal Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Math Achievement

Reading Comprehension

Writing Concepts & Skills

Writing Mechanics

Listening Skills

2. Learn about what creates successful test preparation, generally speaking.

Strong Plan that accounts for a child using whole child paradigm.

Commitment and Consistency

Tutoring or classes that not only instruct, but also provides opportunities for plenty of practice (homework), practice tests, as well as opportunities to be in the driver’s seat with regard to mastery of skills, concepts and strategies.

Attention to the Social-Emotional-Academic Quotient.

3.  Create a test preparation plan.

Your child’s …

Academic History

Learning Style

School Environment

Family Environment, Values, Goals

Social-Emotional Connection or SEAQ (Social-Emotional-Academic Quotient)

Your budget …

Your calendar …

Schedule a Test Preparation Consultation with EEC and take the guesswork out of the planning work! Email us today at info@evolveded.com or call 917-388-3862.

II. Four Ways Parents can Support School so Students Thrive.

1. Be Informed — Remember the Whole Child Paradigm?

Keep track of your child’s academic history. Learn about your child’s learning style. Understand your child’s school environment—both what works for your child and what does not. Be aware of your family’s environment, values and goals. Determine your child’s social-emotional-academic quotient.

2. Teach and Require Skills for the Job — Classwork, Homework, Studying, Executive Functioning

Know what skills your child needs to have to thrive within classwork, homework, studying and executive functioning.

In the classroom, the student needs to understand the way information is being communicated. What is the syllabus? What is the teaching style? How should the student participate?

For homework, the student needs to have a system for knowing what needs to be completed, for taking the classroom experience and applying it to homework, calendaring tasks into a planner, and having a system for handing in assignments.

For studying, the student needs to have a system for on-going studying, an effective way to acquire information and skills (often avoiding phone or Internet time or social media) which should involve active studying, a way to use weekend time for review.

For executive functioning, the student should be aware of his or her strengths in the eight main functions: Planning, Organization, Self-Monitoring, Working Memory, Initiation, Emotional Control, Shift, Inhibition/Impulsivity and employ strategies to compensate for areas of weakness.

Schedule an Education Consulting Session with EEC to help you and your child to perfect these important skills using our whole child paradigm. Email us at info@evolveded.com or call 917-388-3862.

3. Communicate & Problem-Solve

Students and families need a way to communicate on a weekly basis. The communication should include a review of school feedback, a look ahead at upcoming tests/projects, a review of the family calendar, and include contracts, goals with specific attention to actions and consequences.

4. Outsource

Families should outsource support by first going to classroom teachers, guidance counselors, or principals at the school. Parents should stay informed about curriculum, how their child is performing in school and the landscape of education going forward. Parents should find education consulting, classes and tutoring which supports the student so he or she can THRIVE in his or her role as a student.

III. Looking Ahead to High School

Parents can learn about the high school timeline to ensure their child is afforded every opportunity to THRIVE within the high school experience and college search and admissions process.

Email our college counselor, Molly Lieberman with specific questions about the high school process at college@evolveded.com!

Freshman year

Take rigorous courses that ensure best grades possible (do all four years).

Take part in extra-curricular activities of interest (do all four years).

Sign up for a College Board account, apply for extra time for standardized tests, if needed.

Sophomore year

Take PSAT in fall for a baseline grade.

Take an SAT II test in the spring.

Visit some colleges in spring or summer of Sophomore year.

Explore career interests & get a job or internship.

Junior year

Take PSAT in fall.

Prepare for ACT & SAT.

Continue to visit colleges.

Take SAT II Tests.

Create Common Application account in summer—take SENIOR SUMMER with EEC!

Senior year

Finalize a well-balanced 5-8 school list.

Take SAT & ACT.

Work closely with your school’s college counselor.

Submit applications & Finish School Strong!

EEC ‘s Spring Consulting Services and Classes

SHSAT Class begins Saturday, April 2nd! Sign up by emailing info@evolveded.com

Consulting for Test Preparation Planning, Student Plans, or Summer Education Opportunities available. Sign up by emailing info@evolveded.com

Key Pieces of Advice from Parents who have been There

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

Key Pieces of Advice from Parents who have been There

by Mary E. Miele and Gina Rotundo, from the The Evolved Education Company

 

Here are a collection of tips, strategies, and best practices from parents who have gone through the process at least once.

  • Rule # 1 – Do not let them see you sweat. Your child will feel your anxiety and internalize it and this will not help you or your child.
  • Learn all you can about the tests. Learn what the formats are, the time spent on each section and how the test is graded.
  • Discuss your child’s abilities and challenges at the first parent-teacher conference and translate these into test-taking skills.
  • Express to your child she needs to do her best and not compare herself to her peers. You can opt to not tell her what scores she earned. Just let her know she did well.
  • Do not pressure your child; she will pressure herself and will feel the pressure from her peers and teachers.
  • Remember, state tests are only one of the many ways to measure what your child is learning and able to do.
  • Look for signs of test anxiety. Ask your teacher how your child does on in-class tests. Does she finish on time? Does she know how to pace herself? Does she make careless errors?
  • Give your child a practice test at home to see how she handles the different formats so you can work on strengthening her weaknesses.
  • Make sure your child reads a variety of genres and reads for at least 30 minutes every night as even the math test involves a lot of reading. Doing this will expose your child to a variety of texts and vocabulary; but, most importantly, this will help build stamina.
  • Create a quiet study space for your child and make sure she can sit and stay on task the full time of your child’s test. Do not expect this to happen immediately; you will have to work up to the full time. For children who have a 504 granting extended time, find out how long your child will sit for.
  • Do fun activities throughout the year that are timed so your child will learn a sense of pacing and time management.
  • Use your child’s 3rd grade experience to learn how she handles test taking and whether she will need a 504 Plan, tutoring, or both.
  • Talk about the tests with your child: why they have to take tests and what they are used for. Normalizing test taking will help alleviate stress.
  • Remind your child that the test measures certain things, but does not measure intelligence.
  • Remind your child that one test is just that, one test. Some tests will go very well and others will not. Take it one test at a time and maintain a healthy perspective.

 

Key Elements of Test Preparation: A Primer for Students

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

Key Elements of Test Preparation: A Primer for Students

by Mary E. Miele and Gina Rotundo, from the The Evolved Education Company

Build Test-Taking Skills

Maintain a list of concepts and skills you should know. Sort these skills into categories of what you know well, what you want to review and what you really need to learn.

Try to maintain a fifteen-minute daily review. Steadily build from the skills you already know and do not try to learn everything at once. Review old concepts while you learn new skills, so you are accumulating knowledge while refreshing basics. Look at resources such as education.com or The Evolved Education Company to curate extra practice.

Maintain a daily reading of fiction and non-fiction for at least 40 minutes per day. Practice reading to yourself and aloud to an adult. Practice re-telling the story and expressing your thoughts and opinions about what is happening.

Do Test Preparation at Home

Remember: Taking a standardized test differs from taking regular school tests. Standardized tests are strictly timed and have specific instructions to follow.

Designating a particular amount of time for an activity or review lesson to be completed can help you get in the mindset of finishing work with time restraints. The use of your own timer or stopwatch can help you be conscious of time, while also providing a fun way to do quick practices of certain skills. A time timer, shown below can be purchased from Amazon.com for $22.00 and is an excellent way to teach students to be aware of time. Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 9.42.27 PM

Take as many practice tests as possible using tests from previous years. Ask an adult to create a quiet space for you to take a full 70-minute test.

Test-Taking Tips

Before the test, expose yourself to answering a variety of question types for both ELA and Math: fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended response.

Become familiar with test terminology. For example, you should know the difference between things like synonyms and antonyms, main ideas and details, and greater than and less than.

Make a list of clue words and their corresponding operations. Within the questions, clues can be found, such as in the question: How many blocks are there altogether? You should understand that the word “altogether” indicates addition as the operation needed to answer the question sufficiently.

Pay close attention to directions, and note, highlight or underline any words that may assist you in answering the questions.

In the reading comprehension section of the test, which can be very lengthy, you should start by previewing the questions prior to reading the assigned passage. This helps you know what you are looking for when you read the text.

In multiple-choice questions, you should first rule out the wrong answers then look for the correct answer.

Also, make sure you answer all of the questions. You loose more credit for unanswered questions than for wrong answers.

Pay attention to time and time management. Then, throughout the year and just for fun, consider doing timed activities at home with your family.

On the Week of the Test

This is the time to officially end test-preparation and take time to relax.

On the night before: take a nice warm bath, or shower and make time for your favorite relaxing activities. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep as a good rest can increase your score.

On test day: have a good breakfast because nutrients help to stimulate the brain. Don’t forget last minute supplies, such as No. 2 pencils, ruler, protractor, calculator if needed and a watch.

Important Facts to Remember

It is normal to feel anxiety before a test. Learn how to use breathing exercise to relax.

This is only a test and does not measure your intelligence, nor determine your future.

Just do your best!

A History of Standardized Test Taking

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

A History of Standardized Test Taking

by Mary E. Miele, learning specialist and founder of The Evolved Education Company

Children in public schools today will take between 18 and 28 standardized test before they graduate. Private schools typically require students to perform on a standardized test to gain admission, then students typically take one standardized test per year beginning in the first grade.

Standardized testing began over a century ago and the intentions of these tests are primarily to determine students’ progress or aptitude levels and the effectiveness of education programming.

Given standardized testing’s extensive history and its consistent revisions both with regard to policy and practice, it stands to reason that standardized tests are going to remain a component of our education landscape. Understanding this history and the recent changes in both law and practice is an important aspect of parenting standardized testing.

Read on to learn more about key dates in the history of standardized testing.

1845—education pioneer Horace Mann introduced the idea of written tests for school aged children. Before this, students were asked to demonstrate knowledge by telling what they knew.

World War I—Army Mental tests were conducted to assign U.S. Servicemen jobs during the war effort.

1920s—SAT or the Scholastic Aptitude Test began at this time it was known as the College Entrance Examination Board. The original test lasted 90 minutes and consisted of 315 questions testing knowledge of vocabulary and basic math and included fill-in-the-blank analogies. This test remained unchanged until 2005 when the analogies were done away with and a writing section was added—the perfect score changed from a 1600 to a 2400. Then, in 2016 a redesigned SAT is implemented—its goal to test college readiness and align itself to the common core standards.

1936—The first automatic tests scanner was created—a rudimentary computer called the IBM 805.

1959—Everett Franklin Lindquist developed the ACT. The original ACT included a section that guided students toward a course of study by asking questions about interests. The SAT was geared more toward testing logic, while the ACT is considered a test of accumulated knowledge.

1960s—The federal government started pushing new achievement tests designed to evaluate instrumental methods and schools.

1965—Elementary and Secondary Education Act is passed –also known as the “War on Poverty” Title 1—a program created by the US Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of low-income families.

1994—Improving America’s Schools Act—added math and language standards, reduced the required % of low-income families needed in a school to receive funds, gave more control to local governments for school improvements

1999—In New York—the first administration of the Grade 4 and Grade 8 Tests in ELA and Math

21st century—has brought on the SAT II, designed for individual subjects, and Advanced Placement Tests, which some universities accept for students who want to opt out of introductory college-level classes.

2001—President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education reform

  • Expanded state-mandated standardized testing as a means of assessing school performance.
  • Schools published annual report cards detailing their student achievement data and demographics

2006—First administration of Grades 3-8 Tests in ELA and Math

2008—In a paper in the Annual Review of Sociology, Eric Grodsky, John Robert Warren and Erika Felts examine the relationship between testing and social inequality.

2009—Common Core standards are created

2012–Obama’s Race to the Top or R2T is passed; its main goals are to develop rigorous standards and better assessments, adapt better data systems to provide schools, teachers and parents with information about student progress, support teachers and school leaders to be more effective and increase emphasis and resources for the rigorous interventions needed to turn around the lowest-performing schools.

2013—First administration of Grades 3-8 Tests in ELA and Math Aligned to Common Core

2014-2016 First administrations of Regents Exams aligned to Common Core Standards

Summer 2015–Pearson loses its contract to create standardized tests in the state of NY. Questar Assessment Inc. is taking over the creation of NY State’s Standardized Tests.

December 10, 2015–Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan bill that will help make sure every student is prepared to succeed in a 21st century economy. This reform rejects the overuse of standardized tests and one-size-fits all mandates, and instead, empowers states and school districts to develop their own strategies for improvement. The effects of this bill will be seen in the 2017-2018 school year.

March 2016–The redesigned SAT takes the place of the SAT. The new SAT is based on the latest research on the skills colleges value most.

Resources for more information on this topic can be found on these websites:

http://daily.jstor.org/short-history-standardized-tests/

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1947019,00.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/k-12/race-to-the-top

Pearson loses huge testing contract in New York — and gets more bad news

 

Parenting Standardized Tests

Parenting Standardized Tests: A Series for Parents of School-aged Children

by Mary E. Miele, learning specialist and founder of The Evolved Education Company

In 2016, students beginning Kindergarten will take 18-28 standardized tests before they graduate in 2029; and, if current trends continue, the number of tests may increase. Public schools offer standardized testing beginning in grade three, while most private or independent schools require a standardized test to gain admission to their institutions. Every college-bound high school student will take either the SAT or ACT along with a host of other tests such as the Regents, SAT II tests or Advanced Placement Exams.

All along, the only constant supervisors of a child’s K-12 education, the parents and guardians, are often responsible for and involved in their children’s preparation for standardized tests. Some schools offer test preparation, but as this series will present, traditional, school-led test preparation programs do not address the specific needs of every child. Quality parenting must supplement any test preparation program, and when it does, children can thrive even within a system that has its significant challenges and downfalls.

Parents who are on the front lines with their children as they grapple with test content, strategy, stamina and practice almost always encounter some kind of problem their children must overcome. Formal testing may present anxiety, avoidance or perfectionist qualities for the first time. Once a standardized test is completed, parents are also tasked with making sense of the feedback, which is often only in the form of a grade. Dealing with inconsistent scores or undesired scores requires additional tools and strategies that parents do not always have. Students who perform poorly on just one standardized test might internalize that experience and continue to do poorly. Or, they can use feedback as constructive criticism and perform better with each subsequent test. How a parent handles feedback can greatly influence a student’s ability to take a standardized test.

Parents require tools and strategies for how to help their children problem solve and overcome obstacles while preparing for tests. With a strong education and quality parenting, children can thrive within test preparation and standardized testing.

This six part series will offer parents information about parenting standardized tests. A presentation on this same topic will be offered on January 6, 2016 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm in NYC. Registration for this talk can be found by clicking here.

The articles in this series will include:

  1. A brief history of standardized testing and its ideal benefits to a student’s education
  2. A history of the Opt-Out Movement and the movement’s effects on students and schools
  3. How to Access and Interpret Key academic elements of the ELA and NY State Math Tests Grades 3-8
  4. Key Elements of Test Preparation: A Primer for Students
  5. Strategies for parents on how to help children thrive before, during and after a standardized test
  6. Key pieces of advice from seasoned K-12 parents –here is where I will offer anecdotal pieces of advice, share cautionary tales and teachable moments, and offer suggestions from parents who know what works and what does not

When parents take the time to educate themselves about the tests and how to parent their children who take them, the experience of undergoing standardized testing improves for the entire family.

 

Redesigned SAT: What does my child need to know?

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Redesigned SAT: What Does My Child Need to Know?

The College Board has redesigned the SAT— but why?

Greater focus, relevance, and transparency

The College Board feels they need to do more to help all students not only be ready for college but also succeed in life after high school, namely through the redesign of the SAT. They determined that the SAT needed to be more clearly and transparently focused on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research evidence indicates are essential for college and career readiness and success.

For students and parents, the Redesigned SAT (rSAT) offers a more effective vehicle to showcase students’ academic strengths and readiness for college and careers. Because it is closely aligned to both high school instruction and post-high school requirements, it serves as evidence of the hard work students have performed in high school.

How can I help my student prepare?

This document serves as a basic blueprint of the skills your child needs to know for the new test. Additionally, Evolved Education Company offers veteran test preparation teachers who intricately understand the rSAT. Between carefully planned homework assignments, to pacing strategies, to help with test anxiety, our teachers can help your student with everything he or she needs to excel on the rSAT.

MAJOR FEATURES OF THE CURRENT VS. rSAT

CATEGORY CURRENT SAT REDESIGNED SAT
Total Testing Time 3 hours and 45 minutes 3 hours (Plus 50 minutes for the option Essay)
Components a)     Critical Readingb)     Writingc)     Math

d)    Essay

a)     Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
– Reading Test
– Writing & Language Testb)     Mathc)     Essay (optional)
Important Features –        Emphasis on general reasoning skills-        Emphasis on vocab in limited contexts-        Complex scoring: a point for a correct answer, deduction for incorrect answer, no penalty for blank responses –        Continued emphasis on reasoning alongside a clearer, stronger focus on the skills most important for college-        Greater emphasis on the meaning of words in extended contexts and on how word choice shapes meaning, tone, & impact
Essay –        Required-        25 min. to write-        Students take a position on a presented issue –        Optional, given at the end; colleges determine whether they will require the essay for admission-        50 min. to write-        Students produce a written analysis of a provided source text
Score Reporting –        Scale ranging from 600 to 2400 –        Scale ranging from 400 to 1600

  

READING

65 minutes, 52 multiple-choice questions

OVERVIEW:

Students must read and comprehend a broad range of high-quality, appropriately challenging literary and informational texts in the content areas of U.S. and world literature, history/social studies, and science.

CONTENT:

A series of passages with multiple-choice questions

–        Students must refer to what the passages say explicitly and use careful reasoning to draw supportable inferences from the passages

SKILLS DOMAIN

Information and Ideas

  • Reading closely

o   Determining explicit meanings: identify information/ideas explicitly stated in text

o   Determining implicit meanings: draw reasonable inferences and logical conclusions from text

o   Using analogical reasoning: apply information/ideas in a text to a new, analogous situation

  • Citing textual evidence: cite textual evidence that best supports a given claim or point
  • Determining central ideas and themes: identify explicitly stated central ideas or themes in text and determine implicit central ideas or themes from text

Summarizing

  • Understanding relationships: identify explicitly stated relationships or determine implicit relationships between and among individuals, events, or ideas (e.g., cause-effect, comparison-contrast)
  • Interpreting words and phrases in context: determine the meaning of words and phrases in context

Rhetoric

  • Analyzing word choice: determine how the selection of specific words/phrases or the use of patterns of words/phrases shapes meaning and tone
  • Analyzing text structure

o   Analyzing overall text structure

o   Analyzing part-whole relationships: analyze the relationship between a particular part of a text (e.g., a sentence) and the whole text

  • Analyzing point of view: determine the point of view or perspective from which a text is related or the influence this point of view has on content and style
  • Analyzing purpose: determine the main purpose of a text or particular part of a text
  • Analyzing arguments

o   Analyzing claims and counterclaims: (both explicit and implicit)

o   Assessing reasoning: assess an author’s reasoning for soundness

o   Analyzing evidence: assess how an author uses or fails to use evidence to support a claim

Synthesis

  • Analyzing multiple texts: synthesize information and ideas from paired texts.
    (Note: All of the skills listed above may be tested with either single or paired passages.)
  • Analyzing quantitative information: analyze information presented quantitatively in such forms as graphs, tables, and charts

KEY FEATURES:

» Emphasis on words in context

» Emphasis on command of evidence

» Inclusion of informational graphics

WRITING

35 minutes, 44 multiple-choice questions

OVERVIEW:
Students edit a wide range of texts for development, organization, and effective language use and for conformity to the conventions of standard written English grammar, usage, and punctuation.

CONTENT:
A series of high-quality multi-paragraph passages and associated multiple-choice questions

  • Passages written specifically with errors (various rhetorical or mechanical problems) for students to recognize and correct
  • Most common question format: Students choose the best of 3 alternatives to an indicated part of the passage (often underlined) or determine that the version already in the passage is the best option.

SKILLS DOMAIN

Expression of Ideas:

Development

  • Proposition: add, revise, or retain central ideas, main claims, counterclaims, and topic sentences to structure text and convey arguments and information clearly and effectively
  • Support: add, revise, or retain information/ideas (e.g., details, facts, statistics) to support claims in text
  • Focus: add, revise, retain, or delete information/ideas for the sake of relevance to topic and purpose
  • Quantitative information: information presented quantitatively in such forms as graphs, charts, and tables as it relates to information in the text

Organization

  • Logical sequence: information presented in the most logical order
  • Introductions, conclusions, and transitions: transition words or sentences at beginning or ending of a text or paragraph to effectively connect ideas

Effective language use

  • Precision: exactness or content appropriateness of word choice
  • Concision: economy of word choice (i.e., to eliminate wordiness and redundancy)
  • Style and tone: consistency of style and tone within a text; match of style and tone to purpose
  • Syntax: use of various sentence structures to accomplish needed rhetorical purposes

Standard English Conventions:

Sentence structure

  • Sentence formation

o   Sentence boundaries: correct grammatically incomplete or run-on sentences

o   Parallel structure: correct grammatically unequal lists/comparisons

o   Modifier placement (e.g., misplaced or dangling modifiers)

  • Inappropriate shifts in construction

o   Verb tense, mood, and voice

o   Pronoun person and number

Conventions of Standard English Usage

  • Pronoun clarity: correct pronouns with ambiguous antecedents (words pronouns refer to)
  • Possessive determiners: possessive determiners (its, your, their) vs. contractions (it’s, you’re, they’re) vs. adverbs (there)
  • Agreement
  • Pronoun-antecedent agreement, Subject-verb agreement, & Noun agreement
  • Frequently confused words (e.g., accept/except, allusion/illusion)
  • Logical comparison: correct when unlike terms are compared
  • Conventional expression: correct when an expression is inconsistent with written English

Conventions of Punctuation

  • End-of-sentence punctuation
  • Within-sentence punctuation: colons, semicolons, and dashes to indicate sharp breaks in thought within sentences
  • Possessive nouns and pronouns
  • Items in a series: punctuation (commas, sometimes semicolons) to separate series items
  • Nonrestrictive and parenthetical elements: punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive and parenthetical sentence elements
  • Unnecessary punctuation

KEY FEATURES:

»  Emphasis on words in context

»  Emphasis on command of evidence

»  Inclusion of informational graphics

MATH

80 minutes = Calculator Section (37 questions, 55 minutes) + No-Calculator Section (20 questions, 25 minutes)

CALCULATOR SECTION

# OF QUESTIONS % OF TEST POINTS
Total Questions 37 100%
     Multiple Choice 30 75
     Student-Produced Response (grid-in) 6 15
     Extended Thinking (grid-in) 1 10
Content Categories
     Heart of Algebra 13 32
     Problem Solving & Data Analysis 14 42
     Passport to Advanced Math 7 18
     Additional Topics in Math 3 18

 

NO-CALCULATOR SECTION

# OF QUESTIONS % OF TEST POINTS
Total Questions 20 100%
    Multiple Choice 15 75
     Student-Produced Response (grid-in) 5 25
Content Categories
     Heart of Algebra 8 40
     Passport to Advanced Math 9 45
     Additional Topics in Math 3 15

 

SKILLS DOMAINS BREAKDOWN

Heart of Algebra (35% of overall points)

–        Equations and systems of equations

–        Expressions, equations, and inequalities

–        Formulas

Problem Solving and Data Analysis (28%)

–        Ratios, proportions, percentages, and units

–        Qualitative and quantitative (e.g. graphs) data

Passport to Advanced Math (27%)

–        Rewriting expressions

–        Quadratic and higher-order equations

–        Polynomials

Additional Topics in Math (10%)

–        Area and volume

–        Line, angle, triangle, and circle theorems

–        Trigonometric functions

1. HEART OF ALGEBRA DOMAIN
This section will assess students’ ability to analyze, fluently solve, and create linear equations and inequalities, along with using multiple techniques to solve equations and systems of equations.

Application

  1. Linear equations in one variable: simplify the expression, simplify the equation, or solve for the variable in the equation
  2. Linear inequalities in one variable
  3. Linear functions that models a linear relationship between two quantities
  4. Systems of linear inequalities in two variables: steps may be required to create the inequality or system of inequalities or to determine whether a given point is in the solution set
  5. Systems of two linear equations in two variables

Fluency

  1. Solving linear equations in one variable
  2. Solving systems of two linear equations in two variables

Conceptual Understanding

  1. Interpret the variables and constants in expressions for linear functions within the context presented
  2. Understand connections between algebraic and graphical representations

2. PROBLEM SOLVING AND DATA ANALYSIS DOMAIN
Problems in this category require significant quantitative reasoning about ratios, rates, and proportional relationships and will place a premium on understanding and applying unit rate.

Application

  1. Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and scale drawings
  2. Percentages
  3. Measurement quantities, units, and unit conversion
  4. Given a scatterplot, using linear, quadratic, or exponential models to describe how the variables are related
  5. Relationships between two variables to investigate key features of a graph
  6. Linear growth compared to exponential growth
  7. Using categorical data and relative frequencies to calculate conditional probability
  8. Inferring about population parameters based on sample data
  9. Using statistics to investigate measures of center of data and analyze shape, center, and spread
  10. Evaluating reports to make inferences, justify conclusions, and determine appropriateness of data collection methods

3. PASSPORT TO ADVANCED MATH DOMAIN

These questions test the understanding of the structure of expressions and the ability to analyze, manipulate, and rewrite these expressions. This includes an understanding of the key parts of expressions (e.g. terms, factors, and coefficients). Additionally, this category requires the ability to interpret and build functions.

Application

  1. Quadratic and exponential functions
  2. Determining the most suitable form of an expression or equation to reveal a particular trait

Procedural Skill and Fluency

  1. Equivalent expressions involving radicals and rational exponents
  2. Equivalent forms of expressions using structure
  3. Quadratic equations
  4. Arithmetic operations on polynomials
  5. Radical and rational equations in one variable, including examples where there are extraneous solutions
  6. System of equations consisting of one linear and one quadratic equation in two variables
  7. Rewrite simple rational expressions.

Conceptual Understanding

  1. Nonlinear expressions
  2. The relationship between zeros and factors of polynomials (i.e. using it to sketch graphs)
  3. Nonlinear relationships between two variables via connections between their algebraic and graphical representations
  4. Function notation
  5. Isolating a single variable or a quantity of interest

4. ADDITIONAL TOPICS IN MATH DOMAIN

While the overwhelming majority of problems on the redesigned
SAT’s Math Test fall into the first three domains, the test also addresses additional topics in high school math. These include essential geometric and trigonometric concepts and the Pythagorean Theorem.

Application

  1. Volume formulas
  2. Trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean Theorem, applied to problems involving right triangles

Procedural Skill and Fluency

  1. Arithmetic operations on complex numbers
  2. Converting between degrees and radians and using radians to determine arc lengths; trigonometric functions of radian measure
  3. Circle theorems to find arc lengths, angle measures, chord lengths, and areas of sectors

Conceptual Understanding

  1. Congruence and similarity theorems to solve problems about lines, angles, and triangles
  2. Relationships between similarity, right triangles, and trigonometric ratios; relationships between sine and cosine of complementary angles
  3. Equations in two variables to solve problems about circles in coordinate planes

DISTINCTIVE rSAT MATH FEATURES:

»  Emphasis on mathematical reasoning over reasoning questions disconnected from the math curriculum

»  Strong emphasis on both fluency and understanding

»  Richer applications, emphasizing career, science, and social studies applications

»  Item sets that allow for more than one question about a given scenario

»  No-calculator section

Document prepared by EEC Test Preparation Specialist: Anna Marr

To download a pdf version of this text click here: rSAT Skills to Know.

For more information: contact www.evolveded.com

 

The Redesigned SAT: Where are we going?

When you are in the midst of teaching someone (in our case, our K-12 students), it is important to know where you are taking them. To that end, I’d like to provide a breakdown of the redesigned SAT–effective Spring 2016.

The redesigned SAT is being developed by the College Board.  The College Board is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to help students with the transition to college.  Over 1.6 million students each year take the SAT and use it to gain admission to higher education institutions.

According to a document prepared by College Board that explains the SAT test’s redesign, 57% of students who took the test in 2013 were not prepared for college and beyond and would require some kind of remediation in order to be successful in a college.  The redesign of the SAT is happening so that College Board can show parents, teachers and educators exactly what students need to be able to do in order to succeed in college.

Anyone in K-12 education should be aware of these necessary skills for higher education success. I’m calling them the Golden Skills–the skills that we want every student to have by grade 12.

The GOLDEN SKILLS:

  • “read, summarize and use reasoning to comprehend challenging literacy and informational texts, including texts on science and history/social studies topics, to demonstrate and expand their knowledge and understanding;
  • revise and edit extended texts across a range of academic and career related subjects for expression of ideas and to show facility with a core set of grammar, usage, and punctuation conventions;
  • show command of a focused by powerful set of knowledge, skills and understandings in math and apply that ability to solve problems situated in science, social studies, and career-related contexts;
  • make careful and considered use of evidence as they read and write;
  • demonstrate skill in analyzing data, including data represented graphically in tables, graphs, charts, and the like, in reading, writing, and math contexts; and
  • reveal an understanding of relevant words in context and how word choice helps shape meaning and tone. ” —College Board, 2014

 

The redesigned SAT will have four main tests–a reading, a writing and language, a math and an optional essay test.

1) The Reading Test

  • passages will include:
    • one U.S. founding document (ie. Declaration of Independence or Constitution)
    • one Great Global Conversation (ie. Lincoln speech or MLK)
  • there will be informational graphics (students have to interpret them and relate to passage content)
  • students must show command of text evidence
  • students must determine meaning of words in context and understand the purpose of word choice (ie. to convey meaning, tone and impact)
  • Paired passages will remain a part of the redesigned SAT

 

2) The Writing and Language Test

  • assess a student’s ability to edit and revise passages

includes informational graphics, which students have to consider when editing and revising text

  • demands a command of evidence (students must edit and revise based on evidence)
  • includes mastery of word meaning and word choice

 

3) The Math Test

  • very heavy on three topics:
    • Algebra
    • Problem solving
    • Data Analysis (ie. interpreting and synthesizing data; applying statistics seen in career contexts)
  • there are two sections–one with a calculator and one without a calculator

 

4) An Optional Essay Test

  • students produce a written analysis of text
  • the writing will be a persuasive piece that must involve evidence, reasoning, stylistic and persuasive elements
  • will be assessed on reading, writing and analysis
The elements of the redesigned SAT
The elements of the redesigned SAT

The College Board is redesigning the SAT in a transparent manner. This means that we will all know how to prepare our children for this test.  Yes, they want every child to ace it. Why are they doing this? It is simple, they want students and schools to accomplish what they need to in their K-12 education experience to be successful in college.

The College Board says that the following is important for our K-12 students,

“1. Students who focus on learning fewer, more important things in depth have a stronger foundation on which to build when they proceed to college and career.  This kind of clarity in instruction, centered on the essentials of college and career readiness, is a hallmark of classrooms and teachers that dramatically impact achievement and prepare students for college and career success.

2. Students who take rigorous courses as part of their K-12 education are much more likely to be ready for and succeed in college and workforce training programs than are students who don’t take rigorous courses.

3. Students who fall behind academically need early, productive interventions that help them develop academic and noncognitive skills needed to succeed.

4. Students who are prepared for postsecondary education must be made aware of and empowered to take advantage of the opportunities they’ve earned.”

I’m proud to be in the business of helping students to acquire these skills and to provide the interventions that help them develop the skills they need to succeed in higher education.

Want to read more on this topic? Check out this article in Ed Week and also visit the College Board Site.