Prepared and Confident: Ready for What’s Next

November 01, 2019 By Sarah Williamson
Confident and Prepared

Charlie is a great basketball player. And he is a middle of the road student. He passed all of his classes, but failed two of his end-of-course (EOC) tests. Charlie has to pass these exams, or he will not be able to play basketball or graduate. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scenario for many students in high school. Every district has a Charlie, a middle of the road student who struggles to pass a high stakes exam.

How do we support Charlie and other students on high stakes exams?  

The latest results of the Nation’s Report Card, released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and measures national student performance in math and reading, once again showed very little progress and a decline in reading. This latest data emphasizes that there are many students like Charlie who may be middle of the road performers who struggle with mastering grade level concepts and demonstrating these skills on standardized tests.

Unfortunately, most test prep solutions focus on drilling practice items, memorizing facts, and knowing how to beat the test by understanding its structure. Alternatively, true test readiness empowers students to truly learn and understand the concepts they will be tested on, not just how to take the test.

Effective instruction should facilitate deeper understanding of concepts to be tested, including adaptive remediation to address any prerequisite skills needed. The instruction should use active learning to ensure concepts and skills are reinforced and include the question style found on high-stakes exams, while also tracking standards mastery by student and class.

The good news for Charlie is that after failing his EOC tests, he was enrolled in an after school EOC bootcamp. He was able to fill in the learning gaps he needed and master the content for the test rather than just following skill and drill repetition followed by a practice test. In the bootcamp, he used a digital learning tutorial that quickly identified the standards he had mastered and those that he had not, providing him with adaptive instruction that was laser focused on the skills and concepts he needed to learn. After three weeks of bootcamp, Charlie passed the EOCs and he was able to continue playing basketball.  

How Apex Learning can help

Apex Learning digital curriculum ensures students not only pass their classes, but are also successful on high-stakes exams, whether they are taking end-of-course, tests, ESSA-mandated state tests, high school equivalency exams, or college entrance exams. Using direct instruction and practice with feedback on the grade-level skills that will be tested, Apex students develop deeper understanding of concepts and get better scores. To learn more about our test readiness options, visit: https://www.apexlearning.com/exam-readiness.

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