MAP testing

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Have you ever had test anxiety -- a feeling of fear before taking a major test? We have probably all had this experience. Yet through strategies being employed by Southeast Missouri schools, it's a feeling that can be diminished.

Missouri students are gearing up for the latest round of MAP testing, a series of examinations for third- to eighth-grade students. And while these important tests -- Missouri's way of complying with the No Child Left Behind Act -- could pose a chance for nervousness, educators are finding ways to ease their students' anxiety.

At Alma Schrader Elementary School, third- and fourth-grade students have the opportunity to run down the hallways and tear down banners before taking the MAP tests. Other tension-releasing strategies for the younger children include rewards, celebrations and affirmations of success.

While activities to relieve stress are important, a key aspect in the students' preparation and confidence entering their MAP tests is the academic reinforcement teachers provide throughout the school year. Cramming for a test provides little long-term value, but having a curriculum that reinforces major concepts throughout the school year -- like many Southeast Missouri schools have -- does make an impact.

While the MAP exams are critical for schools and their funding, it's good to see that educators are finding ways to ease student anxiety -- a tool that is sure to benefit student performance.

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