Educators offer advice for upcoming state tests

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Love it or hate it, testing season has arrived in Mississippi schools.
This week, thousands of high school students will sharpen their No. 2 pencils and take standardized tests in one of four subject areas: English II, Algebra 1, U.S. history and Biology I.
Early next month, third- to eighth-grade students will take their own standardized tests in language arts and mathematics.
With those examinations looming, school experts have several last-minute tips for students and parents to help the test-takers perform their best. Those keys involve rest, good nutrition, drinking lots of water and getting physical activity, said Tupelo Deputy Superintendent Diana Ezell.
That means getting at least eight hours sleep on the nights before the tests and eating healthy breakfasts that are high in protein and low in sugar.
They should also take a deep breath before examination, Tupelo High School Algebra 1 teacher Tracie Mallard said.
“I tell my students when they see a problem, it may look like something they have never seen before, but it is commonly just worded a different way,” she said. “It is important to take a deep breath and not stress out on it.”
She said she recommends that students who take the algebra test should skip problems giving them difficulty and then come back and retry them at the end.
Lee County Schools Director of Student Assessment Casey Dye agreed that students should not panic. He said they often know more than they realize.
“They have been taught the material, and they should have some confidence when they are in there taking the state test because they know more than they think they know,” he said.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.