FSA testing: how you can prepare

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It’s the busiest time of the year once again… FSA testing-mode is almost in fullswing. Though opinions and views may vary, standardized testing in different grades can play a major role in students’ academic careers. Based on results, students can be placed into remedial or advanced classes so that their strengths and weaknesses can be catered to. Eventually, tests that resemble the FSA will determine if and where a student goes to college. It’s important for students to be caught up, prepared, and ready for the next few months of testing.  

The Schedule 

  • April 2 through April 4: 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade writing tests, in order of grade. 
  • May 1 through May 2: 6th and 7th grade reading test 
  • May 3 through May 6: 6th grade math test 
  • May 6 through May 7: 7th grade math test 
  • May 8: 7th grade civics test 
  • May 9 through May 10: 8th grade reading test 
  • May 13: 8th grade science test 
  • May 14 through May 15: 8th grade math test
  • May 16 through May 17:  Algebra EOC 
  • May 20 through May 21: Geometry EOC 

 The Preparation  

It’s crucial to be ready for the seemingly long hours sitting still, reading passages, and answering questions. There is only so much teachers can do to prepare their students; the rest is up to the actual test-takers and their study habits at home.

It’s always advised to “get a good night’s sleep,” before test days, and though it may seem repetitive and over-stated, it’s stressed so often because it’s extremely important. According to the article, “Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain Functions and Health,” after five consecutive days of not getting enough sleep, a person’s IQ can lower by 15 points. Sleep changes thought patterns, and test-takers want to be in the best brain shape possible. 

Another saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” is an insane cliché with so much truth behind it. While breakfast can be seen as an unnecessary inconvenience so early in the morning, it’s essential for the brain. Carbohydrates serve as fuel for the mind. The amount of sugar in foods should be considered, specifically to avoid headaches and crashing. Food intake allows for better concentration, more energy, and a better mood. 

In addition, staying hydrated is crucial for brain function as well. In a recent study reported on NPR’s website, “Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated,” by Allison Aubrey, people in a study measuring the effects of dehydration on cognitive flexibility had 12% more total errors than when hydrated. “If you’re a student, for example, a 12 percent increase in errors on a test might matter, ” said Aubrey. This shows that staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important for testing as well.

Extra practice when able to also helps, Mary Catherine Rehm, 8th grade, states “I write and time myself for the FSA test.” Take advantage of all the opportunities your teachers give you to practice for upcoming tests.

Overall, its necessary to be and feel prepared for these tests. Remember to be very well-rested with a healthy, filling breakfast, hydrated with plenty of water, and ready to listen and follow instructions! Good luck to all GBMS students. 

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