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Preparing for end-of-year tests: A parent guide

end of year test
 
The last few weeks of the academic year means that thousands of Wake County students are starting to take exams to demonstrate all they have learned this year.
 
Parents play an important role in helping their students be prepared.
 

How to help your student

Teachers will spend time in class telling students what to expect on the test and offering strategies for success. Check in with your student about these strategies.

 

Before the test:


  • Help your student keep a consistent sleep schedule for several nights before the test.
  • Encourage consistent and healthy eating.
  • Exercise with your student or play games to help relieve stress or pre-test jitters.
  • Let your student know you believe in him/her and support him/her. Build his/her confidence by reviewing all he has learned this year.
  • Review sample test items and strategies with your student. 


Day of the test:

  • Make sure your student gets a good breakfast the day of the test at home or at school. The morning of the test, be calm. Allow plenty of time to get your student to school. Create a back-up plan in case he or she misses the bus or ride to school.
  • Remind your student to check that each test section is complete before moving to the next section – students will not be permitted to go back to previous sections once they have moved on.
  • Emphasize the importance of doing your best, but also remind your student that test results are only one measure of academic progress, and do not define their value or abilities.
  • Remember that cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the testing room.
  • A gentle hug and positive statements from a parent can build your student’s confidence.

 

Frequent questions

 
When is the test?
Your school may already have sent and posted information online about test dates. Find a district-wide list of testing periods.
 
What is on the test?
Your child’s teacher can provide more information on how to prepare for the appropriate subject and grade level exam. Additionally, families may view sample test questions on the N.C. Department of Public Instruction website.
 
What is the format of the test?
This varies by grade level and subject. Most portions of exams are multiple choice. Some may require written responses. Your school can provide more information on the format, and whether the test will be administered as a paper-and-pencil exam, or online.
Students with testing accommodations will receive approved modifications as noted on their IEP, LEP, or 504 plans. By the time testing starts, students should already be familiar with the type of testing accommodations they will receive.
 
What should my student bring?
Students should pack several sharp No. 2 pencils with erasers. Some portions of exams require calculators. In most cases, these are provided by the school. If your child is responsible for providing his or her own calculator, the teacher will inform students well in advance of the test. Students bringing their own calculators should make sure the batteries are new. Students are not permitted to bring snacks or beverages, or electronic devices such as cell phones into the exam.
 
What if my child is late on the day of the test?
No one may enter the testing room after the exams have begun. Schools will make every effort to provide students who arrive late with an opportunity to take the test that day. However this is not guaranteed; students who are significantly late to school will have to take the test on a make-up day.
 
What if my child is sick the day of a test?
It’s important for students to feel well rested the morning of the test. If your child is ill on the morning of the test, it is best to keep him or her home and arrange to take the test on a make-up day. If your child becomes ill during the test and is not able to complete the exam, he or she will be able to make up the exam.
 
What if there is a medical emergency or other situation during the test?
Testing staff has been trained to handle emergencies that arise during testing.
 
When do we get the test results?
Reports for End-of-Course and End-of-Grade exams will be sent home three to four weeks after the last day of school.
 
Do you still need proctors?
Some schools are still looking for exam proctors and hallway monitors. Volunteers who are already registered as volunteers with WCPSS may contact a school to sign up to help with exams. Parents are not permitted to proctor in the same room where their children are taking exams.