Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Basehor-Linwood tests to begin Feb. 28

February 17, 2005

Basehor-Linwood educators, like their colleagues across the state, are preparing students for this year's round of the all-important Kansas state assessment tests. Students' scores on the tests are used as barometers for a district's compliance with the federal education mandate, the No Child Left Behind Act.

Assessment tests in Basehor-Linwood will begin Feb. 28 and run through April 8. Students in the fourth through eighth grades as well as high school sophomores and juniors will take the assessment tests in many of the core subjects -- math, reading, science and social studies.

This year, students will have the opportunity to take released item sets, essentially a practice test, which will give students an inside-glance into the assessment test rigors. The practice tests also will allow teachers to identify areas that students may be struggling with, school district officials said.

Last year, all Basehor-Linwood schools met annual yearly progress (AYP) goals as mandated by No Child Left Behind. To attain those goals once again this year, Basehor-Linwood educators are advising students and parents of better test-taking strategies.

The test-taking tips are provided by the Sylvan Learning Center and include:

  • Take advantage of the released items sets, or pre-tests.
  • Make certain the student is aware of the test conditions -- environment, setting, timing, supplies needed and opportunities for breaks.
  • Share test-taking strategies with peers -- both those who are successful and those who are not.
  • Students should get plenty of rest the night before the tests and eat a good breakfast that day.
  • Encourage students to use the process of elimination for difficult questions. Other strategies for tough questions include underlining key words or phrases, or restating a difficult question in the student's own words.
  • Experts say it is ideal to go through a test at least three times: a first pass for what the student knows easily, a second pass to work through the hard questions and a final check. Encourage students to answer all items the first time, but to move on quickly if they definitely do not know the answer. Also, encourage them to use a marking system to know which questions they need return to.

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