The following suggestions for parents and teachers
from the Minnesota Department of Education
will help students get ready for a statewide assessment:

General Preparation

  • Students should take courses that address the Minnesota Academic Standards.
  • Most schools also make appropriate educational opportunities available to students who are at risk for not succeeding on these tests (such as our after school program).
  • Familiarize students with the format of the test. Online Item Samplers help students become familiar with the format of the test and provide examples of the types of questions that are on the test. 
  • Encourage students to answer all test questions.
  • Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home.
  • Have students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test.
  • Provide students with a study area.
  • Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework.

Reading Tests

  • Read to students and encourage them to read to you.
  • Have students try crossword puzzles and news quizzes in your local newspaper.
  • Encourage students to read the daily newspaper and general interest magazines. 
  • Discuss the events and stories you read about in the newspaper.

Mathematics Tests

  • Encourage students to use mathematics every day. They can practice by creating a grocery budget, explaining charts and graphs from newspaper and magazine articles, dividing food portions, using rulers to measure objects, measuring a recipe or adding prices on a shopping trip.
  • Play games that involve numbers or computation.
  • Encourage students to connect what they are learning in mathematics class to their hobbies, other classes and everyday life.

Science Tests (5th Grade)

  • Share your enthusiasm and interesting science with your children.
  • Use science articles from new publications to show that science is an ongoing, active process.
  • Have students use inquiry skills by participating in science competitions, fairs and other activities.
  • Explore science outside the classroom – nature centers, zoos and science museums.

Writing Tests

  • Have students practice writing essays that:
    • describe, narrate or explain observations of human events or situations, 
    • analyze patterns and relationships of ideas, topics or themes, 
    • construct support for a position, argument, plan or idea and 
    • evaluate an idea, topic or theme based on specific criteria.
  • Encourage students to write letters and keep a journal.

Using a Calculator

Talk to your child’s classroom teacher to find out how calculators are typically used in the classroom. Students can’t share calculators with other students during the Minnesota assessments or use any calculator manuals. You can get more information on using a calculator for testing from your school.