• State track meet June 1st. Good luck to all our athletes.
  • District baseball and softball games at CHS on 5/31.
  • Food trucks coming out on May 30th for the Maymester.
  • Exams are on June 3rd through the 6th.
  • June 6th, the last day of school, is a 1/2 day.
  • Are you signed up for summer school?
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The Student News Site of Concord High School

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Concord Chronicle

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State testing tips and reminders

What the importance of state testing is and tactics to use while taking it.
Jaylin+Knoblett+working+on+test+prep+during+seminar.
Julia Stevens
Jaylin Knoblett working on test prep during seminar.

April 9th marks the first day of state testing for some of the students here at CHS. For many students, this brings a lot of stress to them, and for many others, it is something that they do not want to do. Though this is a hard task to accomplish, there are many ways to work through it and do the best that you can. 

Some students might think state testing is about your score, but it is more than that. Though what you score is important, it is also used to help make improvements to teaching and learning within the school. It can help find gaps in what students might be missing in the curriculum and ultimately make learning better. 

The biggest tests that students take during high school are the SAT and ACT. On average, students usually score a 1050 on the SAT, anything above that is considered above average. Colleges are looking for scores around that range. For example, if you were looking to get into Michigan State University, you would need to score around a 1110. This score is not exact, but it is a good indicator of what you need to get. Before taking the test, if you have colleges you want to get into, looking at their SAT score requirements is a good way to know what you need to score.

There are many ways you can prepare for the test the night before. By being relaxed and completely ready you will do your best, so you should get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, eat a good dinner, prepare your belongings for the next morning, and review any materials you might have one last time. On the day of the test, some good tips are to eat a balanced breakfast, wear comfortable clothing, and use the restroom before the test.

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A lot of the reason state testing can scare students is because of how difficult others say that it is. If you are taking the test and you get stuck there are many tactics you can use to get through. The first one being, to eliminate the choice that is clearly wrong. This can make answering the question a lot easier. Next, make sure to read the questions carefully. If you are not reading them to the full extent, you could miss a part of the question making it harder for you to answer the question. Another helpful tip is to look over your answers after you finish if you have time left over. This could give you the chance to fix any possible mistakes. Lastly, do not panic. Though these tests can be stressful, the best thing to do is to take your time and answer the questions to the best of your ability.

Mrs. Couling has been working with her eleventh-grade students to prepare them for the SAT. When asked what she has been doing to prepare, she responded, “We have been doing English and Math practice pages for the SAT. I am also going to present a PowerPoint to remind them a little more about the test and prepare them.” Mrs. Couling shares that she thinks the test is important. She thinks that it gives a student a chance to show what they really know. They may not do their school work or do well in school, but they do truly know the material and that can be shown through their score. She also adds a few tips she has for students while they are taking the test. She says, “Take deep breaths and give it the best you got. Also, try to stay engaged the whole time. If you feel your mind starts to wander, try to get back engaged with the questions.”

Kristin Parker practicing for the PSAT. (Julia Stevens)

Mrs. Otto is the counselor at CHS and she tries to prepare students all year long for state testing. Each one of the tests is different and they show the different knowledge that students have. Mrs. Otto shares what the true importance of state testing is; “It is an opportunity for students to put in their honest best effort and for them to get a gauge for the knowledge they have retained.” She also shares some advice she has for students while they take the test. These include using the flagging tool on the M-step to skip through questions, track your time on the timer, remain relaxed, if you do not understand the question try writing it out, and do not start to panic if the time begins to run out. She adds one last thing: “Overall, the way we carry ourselves and the actions we take is what defines us. Do not count yourself out during the test.”

Senior Gwen Bulko worked hard to prepare for the SAT and that paid off. She shares some ways she prepared: “I went onto Khan Academy and did the 15-minute Math and English mini-lessons. The questions are all multiple-choice, the first three are free time, and then the fourth is timed. Also, Khan Academy has SAT prep you can use.” Bulko adds some advice she has for juniors who are taking the SAT this year. She recommends students practice: Khan Academy was a beneficial resource for her. She also explains that students should try to stay calm during the test, she says, “At the end of the day it is just a test. You have learned the material and you know what is on it. Though the timer can be intimidating, just know it is enough time.” Overall, she wishes everyone taking the test good luck and wants them to know your score does not define your value as a student or a person.

Senior Ella Woolworth is another student who did well on the SAT last year. While she was testing she used a couple of useful tactics, she says, “The thing that was most helpful during the test was making sure I stayed focused and did not get distracted by my surroundings.” The night before the test, she got prepared for the next day. She worked on some of the practices she was given and then got a good night’s rest. She has some advice for the juniors, “My advice is to not stress too much as it will most likely make you test worse. While this test is a big deal, it isn’t the end of the world if you do poorly on it. You always have the opportunity to retake it and most colleges don’t even require your scores when applying.”

Junior Dustin Hamilton is going to be taking the SAT on Tuesday and has been doing a few things to prepare. He says, “I have been doing preparations with Mrs. Couling in seminar to prepare myself for the essays and comprehension questions that will be on the test.” During the test, he knows that it is very likely he will get stuck on a problem. He explains that when this occurs he is not going to dwell on the question, instead he will move on and come back to it if he has time. He is hoping to get a good score on it for a couple of reasons, he says, “A good score is important to me because I know it will be important for colleges when they see my application, especially for colleges that I plan to attend for athletics. A good score will separate me from the rest of the athletes.”

Ultimately, state testing is a way to be able to show what you have learned. Though it can be stressful, there are many ways to deal with that stress and many tactics to help you. The score you get on the test, whether it is good or bad does not define who you are, but the effort you put into it shows what kind of a person you are.

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About the Contributor
Julia Stevens
Julia Stevens, Staff Editor/Writer
Julia Stevens is a sophomore at Concord High School. It is her second year working on the Concord Chronicle staff. Outside of school, she likes to run for the cross-country team. She is obsessed with reading and taking pictures. In the future, she is hoping to go into the photography industry.

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