Here’s the first in a series of test-taking tips as we get ready for MCAS testing during the next few weeks:

Test Taking Tips for Parents

(adapted from

Check your Canvas calendar for testing dates

Be sure that the GCVS School-Wide – Powers course is selected as a calendar you can see.

Don’t stress your kids out

A parent’s nervousness could really add to any stress that your child might already be feeling. If s/he isn’t worried, you could make him worried.

Get good sleep before a test

Getting good sleep every night is a good strategy. Before a test it is even more important. They will be able to focus and concentrate better when they are well rested.

Eat a good breakfast before a test

Avoiding sugary or heavy foods is important. Having whole grains, fruits, yogurt, and/or eggs will give kids the fuel they will need during the test.

Choose clothes that will be comfortable and not distraction

Kids don’t need to be adjusting their clothing during the test. Clothes with itchy textures that will cause kids to want to scratch will break their concentration. Clothes with Velcro closures, zippers or buttons that kids will want to open and close can be a distraction too.

Try to make the time before testing stress free

Having everything ready to go to in your kid’s backpack before the rush out the door will cut down on everyone’s frustration. Snacks/lunches can be made the night before. Clothes can be laid out early too. BE SURE THAT IF YOU HAVE A GCVS CHROMEBOOK THAT IT IS CHARGED AND THAT YOU BRING IT AND YOUR CHARGER TO TESTING.

Make sure you child has taken all their medications

You will want to make sure that the medications that help them with medical issues are doing their job. Not having them could lead to health issues coming up during the test.

Be at the testing site on time

Being on time will give your children a chance to become familiar with the testing center and help them stay calm.

Give your child a positive message to start the day

Take the time to let them know you believe in them.

Remind your child to do their best

Sometimes this simple reminder helps kids really try on tests.

Practice taking deep breathes to relax

If your children tend to get stressed out about test, show them how to take deep relaxing breathes. It can really calm kids down.

Remind your child to listen and read all directions carefully

Different tests can have very different directions. It is so important to listen and read over directions.

Remind them to use their time wisely

If they get to something they don’t know, they can make an educated guess and move on. Students can get bogged down at the beginning of a test. They get very frustrated when others finish much earlier. They get worried about finishing the test. This one of those testing taking strategies you don’t want to skip. Kids need to know that everyone works at their own pace and that it’s okay for them to finish whenever they are ready. MCAS tests are untimed, so students can have as long as they need.