By Arjun Bhargava, 7th grade
As May rolls around and weather starts to heat up, another (less enjoyable) indicator that summer is on the horizon does as well: STAAR testing. Students dread STAAR tests for a variety of reasons. Some hate that our schedules are messed up for at least half of May to accommodate testing. Some hate using #2 pencils. And some feel test-anxiety, or even unprepared for the test. No matter how you feel about STAAR testing, it’s important to be at your best when you take it. This article is all about helpful tips and tricks to help you breeze right through STAAR.
1. It’s not too late to practice!
Many people feel like they’re not ready to take the STAAR, but don’t know how to prepare. Whether you have a couple weeks before your test or only a couple days, there’s always something you can do! Get a temporary tutor and go over some of the topics covered on the STAAR in a few sessions. If this is too expensive, fear not because a study-group with a few friends in your class could be equally helpful. Another suggestion which will help you feel completely ready to knock out this test is simply finding a practice test online. This can give an idea how well you’ll do and how prepared you are.
Here’s a website with free practice tests that could help: http://www.testprepreview.com/staar-practice.htm
- Eat a good breakfast!
Many don’t understand how important it truly is to eat a solid, healthy breakfast, especially the day of STAAR. This will affect your energy levels, and enable you to fully concentrate through the whole test, which can be long. Make sure you get some protein in- eggs are always a good idea!
Tip: McDonalds will sometimes offer free breakfast to students taking the STAAR test, so check if they are offering any promotions close to your testing date. Last week, this was their promotion:
- Sleep well!
Make sure you get a good night sleep so you’re energized on testing day. This one is a no-brainer, but many kids stay up late tossing and turning because they’re nervous. Don’t let this be you!
4. Pack your bag the night before instead of the morning of.
Here’s a checklist of things to bring:
- #2 pencils (at least 3)
- a water bottle
- a book to read after you’re finished testing
- healthy snacks
- Wake up with a clean, empty mind.
People often stress about other things like summatives and other assignments that can distract them from giving their full attention to the test. Make sure you wake with a clear head ready to focus on the STAAR. Make sure you have completed any homework due that day, so you can focus on your test.
Good luck to all Imagine students with STAAR tests coming up! I hope these tips help you do your very best on the test.