This little guide answers some of your questions about the End-of-Grade tests. These tests can be stressful for some students, and I hope this information will help ease your mind. The most important thing to remember during testing is Stay Calm, Believe in Yourself, and Do Your Best.
Biggest Worry: What if I don’t pass? If you don’t pass the 1st time, you get a 2nd chance to take the test. To get you ready for the retest, for one week your teachers will help you study and prepare.
And if I still don’t pass? Then we talk about summer school and the portfolio of work you have been creating all school year. Your teachers have been saving your work, just in case.
Will I be retained? The answer is almost always “NO”. EOGs are just one test. You would have to have a poor portfolio, not pass the EOGs, and then not show up for summer school to fail your grade.
Why is everything so planned out? The teachers have a script they have to read. We call EOGs standardized tests, because everything is supposed to be “STANDARD” or “all the same.” We want every student to have a similar experience, so every teacher is supposed to do things the same way and give the same instructions.
Teachers sound like robots when they read the test instructions, because they are a little nervous, too. They want to make sure they do their part correctly. Everything is on a tight schedule Because we want to … 1. Finish in time for lunch. 2. Get it over with!
The test book is HUGE and SCARY! Why is the test book so big? The people who make the tests (yes, that’s somebody’s job) like to spread out the questions. They believe this helps you to understand the directions. And, the math test booklet has two tests in it: one test where you can use the calculator, and one where you can’t.
Most important things to remember about the test booklet:
It’s yours! You can write on the cover as soon as you get it. Got a math formula you’re trying to remember? Write it on the test booklet as soon as you get it! Work on one thing at a time. Remember to work mindfully…stay in the moment… Don’t worry about how much you have left to do. Just keep it steady and do your best.
What if I don’t make my Circles perfectly?Try to make your circles neatly, but don’t worry too much. It’s my job to check all the answer sheets. I would NEVER change your answers, but I make sure your answer sheet looks okay for the machine that scores it.
If you make an ugly erase mark, that’s okay. The scoring machine only reads the circles. And what about the dreaded, most horrible, worst of all disasters…
MISALIGNMENT?! If you discover that you have been marking circles in the wrong section or somehow got mixed up, here are the rules: 1. Do not panic. It’s going to be alright. I promise. Really. No, really. I would never lie to you. 2. Raise your hand and the teacher or proctor will come over. Tell them your problem, and they will know what to do.
Important to remember… When we fix misalignments, we need your help. You will need to work with the teacher to make sure the answers look the way you want. We stop your clock to fix the problem. When everything is okay, we start your time again, so you still get all the time you need.
Good Idea:Circle your answers in the test booklet. That way, if you get misaligned, it will be soooooo much easier to fix!
I’m afraid I will run out of time. How much time do I really have? Most people will finish the test in the classroom with the teacher. Some kids work more carefully, and they take more time. No problem; different kids do different things.
When the teacher says time is up, that means just in that classroom. If you need more time, you will move to a different room (probably the library) where you will get lots more time to finish up.
Good Idea: Ask the teacher before the test begins to explain what you should do if you need extra time to finish the test.
What about the time on the board? That’s really just to help you know when you’ll get the next break. You will get extra time after testing stops in the classroom.
What if the other kids stare at me or get tired of waiting for me? Raise your hand and tell the teacher you want to take your extra time in another room because the kids are bothering you. You have a right to test in a setting without distractions. It’s not a problem, so ask for what you need.
What will people think if I finish last? I will be the only one to know. I will think you did your very best and worked really hard. I will be proud of you!
What if I don’t have a number 2 pencil that says “Number 2” on it? The teacher will give you two pencils. Not a problem.
And what if I forget how to do problem? Take a deep breath, and make a little mark on your answer sheet that you should come back to that one later. If you still can’t remember, take your best guess.
What is that proctor doing? Why are they breathing down my neck? They don’t mean to bother you. They have a job to do, too. They are checking to see if you are bubbling in the right section and to see if you are suffering from dreaded misalignment. Just like the teachers, and just like you, they are a little nervous, too.
What if I get sick? It will be okay. The proctor is also there to take you to the nurse if you need to go. You can finish testing when you feel better.
Can I chew gum during the test? Probably. Ask your teacher on the day when we check the information on the answer sheets.
What if we have a tornado or earthquake or aliens land on the football field? Stay calm. Follow your teacher’s instructions. Your safety is the most important thing.
What if I have to go to the bathroom? That’s okay, too. That’s another job for the proctor. They take only one student at a time, and they won’t talk with you much.
Why do I have to take these stupid EOGs anyway? EOGs are how the state makes sure schools and teachers are doing a good job. The tests give grown-ups information on how schools can improve. They also begin to answer the question… Did students learn the information they needed to learn for the current grade?