Thursday, April 7, 2011

MCA Testing

The MCAs (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments) are starting soon for Sioux Trail students.  These are state mandated assessments for students in grades 3-6 (at the elementary level). While the tests are a snapshot of student academic achievement the Minnesota Department Education uses the scores to make a lot of decisions.  The test results provide information on individual students and they are also used to determine the academic progress of Sioux Trail.  All Sioux Trail staff work to prepare to students throughout the school year.  Before we begin taking the final preparation I wanted to provide suggestions to help make MCA test taking a successful experience for Sioux Trail students and Sioux Trail families. Similar information was also sent home in Sioux Trail Touches Home on Friday, April 8.

Little Steps to Bigger Success: Please take time to review this information with your child. 
  • Grades 3 and 4 MCA Reading Tests are scheduled for April 12th and April 13th. 
  • Grades 5 and 6 MCA Reading Tests are scheduled for April 15th and April 16th. 
  • Grade 3-6  Math tests are computer based and are scheduled for May. Watch for more details!
Test Preparation; Test-Taking Tips

When you take a test, you are demonstrating your understanding and knowledge through questions or by performing certain tasks.  

These suggestions can help you perform at your best.

BEFORE MCA Testing at Sioux Trail:
  • Get to bed “early” – get a full night’s rest (8-10 hours/night) one, or even better two, nights before the day of the test.
  • Eat a “good” breakfast the morning of the test – your brain needs food, particularly protein and fruit (protein = egg, nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.)  Avoid sugary food, and do drink plenty of water as well.
  • Wear “comfortable” clothes – wear warm clothes that are in layers so you can take a layer(s) off if too warm,  and put them on if you get chilly.
  • Don’t talk about the test to other students just before it - anxiety is contagious!  

DURING MCA testing at Sioux Trail:

  • ·   Read the directions slowly and carefully!  This seems obvious, but helps avoid careless errors.
  • ·   Be comfortable but alert, and maintain good posture.
  • ·   Stay relaxed and confident, believing that you are well prepared for success.
  • ·   If you feel anxious, take several slow, deep breaths to relax.
  • ·   Review your test when you think you’ve done everything once.  Did you answer all the questions? Check for simple mistakes.
  • ·   Proof read your writing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, decimal points, etc.  Does it make sense and look perfect?
 Thank you helping Sioux Trail students do their best on the MCAs!

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