Achievement House Blog

Pssa

Tips and Tricks for Standardized Tests

Alane Butler

Despite strange myths that exist, cyber school students DO take standardized state assessments just like every other school. 

AHCCS ensures that all students comply with the complex requirements of state mandated testing and many cyber schools use resource centers or rent facilities to proctor the tests in during the same time period as other students in the state.

Each spring 7th and 8th grade students take the PSSA exams and high school students (and even some 8th graders!) take Keystone Exams in Biology, Algebra and Literature. Looking for a way to beat the test? Check out these 5 testing hacks below!

  1. Know when and where to go. Cyber students come from all over the state to go to regional testing sites. It’s best to be prepared make sure you know where you are headed and once you arrive, ask your test proctor where the restroom is.  With advanced preparation, you won’t waste time prior or during test taking time.
  2. Dress smart. Studies have shown that dressing for success can actually help one be successful. Since cyber school students enjoy the flexibility of going to school from the comfort of their own home, why not get out of those PJ’s or sweatpants and dress up a little more. You want to remember to be comfortable - dressing in several light layers can help if you get too hot or too cold in your testing room.
  3. AHCCS always encourages students to think outside the box – if you are stuck on how to start a compelling composition or written essay, start with your favorite quote or think of lyrics to a popular song to help kick start your story or support your arguments.
  4. Work backwards. Instead of diving right into a long passage, read the comprehension questions first.  This way, you know what to look for – and if time allows, make sure to read the passages more than once.
  5. Can’t sit still? Think about investing in The Fidget Cube or Fidget Spinner to help improve your focus.  Keep one of these nifty toys it in your pocket and (quietly) fidget away your test stress and anxiety.  

What are your best tips for successful testing? Let us know in the comments below!