Q&A: Standardized Testing

Answer: Yes, your child will still be required to take any standardized tests that are mandated by the state you live in. Students typically are not permitted to complete these tests in their own home, so a visit to a testing facility will be necessary. The online school in which your child attends will most likely tell you where he or she can complete the test and list available dates and times to do so. There are normally several testing facilities in an area. The facility will have a proctor present to administer the proper test and ensure that the student is adhering to all testing procedures.

Some online schools provide practice tests and prep courses to students prior to their testing day. Students often need practice in deciphering test directions, bubbling answer sheets correctly, and general testing etiquette (such as not getting out of their seat or talking during the test).

Students may exhibit some anxiety prior to taking a standardized test. Many feel pressure to do well or worry that they won't have enough time to complete the exam. It is important that teachers and parents do everything they can to help ease the process, encouraging students to take their time and review answers before turning in their test. It is also imperative that students receive a good night's sleep the night prior to the test and eat a nutritious breakfast before arriving at the testing facility. Testing may occur over a couple of days. In many districts, students will complete only one test per day in areas such as reading, math, and science. It is important to note, however, that testing procedures vary according to state, grade level, and the standardized test being given.

Christi WilsonChristi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.