What Does My Fifth Grader Need to Know for Standardized Testing Success?

If your child is in the fifth grade or entering it soon, there's a fair chance that he or she will have to take standardized tests during the year. Keep reading for information about fifth grade standardized tests and how you can help your child succeed.

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Helping Your Fifth Grader Succeed at Standardized Testing

To do well on state standardized tests, your fifth grader needs to know the material included in your state's learning standards. Most states list their learning standards on their Department of Education website. Schools also typically list the district curriculum online.

What's the Purpose?

States administer standardized tests to fifth graders to determine how well each child is doing in relation to other students at the same level. It's also used by school districts, states and the U.S. Department of Education to assess public schools' educational compliance with national standards. In some cases, your child's fifth grade standardized test score might influence his or her placement in the sixth grade.

What's on a Fifth Grade Standardized Test?

Most fifth grade standardized tests are presented in a multiple-choice format. What you and your child can expect to be on a fifth grade standardized test will vary depending upon what state you live and what kind of school your child attends. Ask your child's teachers or else get in touch with your state's Department of Education to find out what exams your child will take.

Typically, you can expect a section dedicated to math. This section will often be focused on pre-algebraic concepts. English and language arts are the next subject that your child will most likely be tested on. This section will most likely focus on reading comprehension, sentence and paragraph structure, spelling, punctuation and grammar. It's also possible that your child will be tested on science and social studies.

How Can I Help My Child Prepare?

Teachers teach the state standards over the course of the year, which should prepare your child for standardized tests. Make sure that your child remains on top of his or her schoolwork throughout the fifth grade. Always go over your child's work and stay in close contact with his or her school.

When test-taking time is approaching, you can help your child get ready with the help of practice exams. Ask your child's teacher about getting a practice exam or look online at your state's Department of Education. When you administer a practice test to your fifth grader, create a quiet environment and time him or her. Go over the answers with your child and help him or her in the areas where it's needed.

What Other Resources Can Help My Child Succeed?

There are a number of websites that provide standards-based worksheets, games and activities. There also may be a number of after-school programs in your area that could prove to be useful.

If you've noticed that your fifth grader is struggling with a particular subject area or unit, you may want to get your child extra help. Ask your child's teachers for some materials for at-home work. Spend a couple of evenings a week giving your child extra help on that topic. If extra help is still needed, consider hiring a tutor.

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