When it comes to standardized tests we believe that one of the secrets to success is teachers creating some of their own questions. This ensures that there is a full understanding of how those questions are written and what scorers are looking for. However, we definitely don’t think you have to write them all. This article (Part 2 of our Standardized Tests posts–Check out part 1 here) will focus on where you can go to find those test questions. The ones that are written like the questions that will be on your state’s exam. Below are our top three picks. You’re welcome!
Okay, okay, so we know you are thinking this is pretty obvious, right?! But something that you may not have tried is to to look up what other states give the same test as your state (PARCC, AIR, etc…), and search their state department of education websites too. This should give you a largerpool of questions to choose from. In addition, we have found that some states provide an online practice computer test and we highly recommend having the students practice taking the test in the way it will be administered (pencil/paper vs. computer). This little trick just might round you up a nice bunch of computer administered tests to help your students get the practice they need.
We had heard SO many great things about this site, that we decided to see for ourselves, and guess what?! We absolutely LOVE what they offer. Consider Edulastic your one stop shop. Not only do they provide the test questions from a wide range of released standardized assessments (PARCC, AIR, SBAC, ACT Aspire), but they also provide the scoring capabilities to save you time. Yes, they do allow you a rubric feature to score the short answer and essay. While you can print out an exam and give it paper and pencil style, they are more geared towards computer tests (for scoring purposes). If you are a Google Classroom user you will be happy to know they do sync. Best of all the test questions are FREE! There is a premiummembership which offers more (there’s an app for that), but you can definitely reap many of the benefits of this site without paying a dime!
We love the ease of this site. It is SO user friendly. Their search by topic or exam feature allows you to find any test question you could want by standard or by the state test that is administered in your school. We love that they not only allow you to create an actual test, but also give you other ways to include the questions in your daily procedures (think: exit tickets, flashcards, warm-ups, and even a problem of the day calendar). This site also supports your digital efforts with the ability to push what youcreate out onto tablets, smartphones, and get real time data that can export to over 15 different gradebook softwares. Be aware that creating with them is free, but the scoring portion does require a paid membership.
If your school does not have the internet capabilities to take advantage of the scoring abilities of recommendations two and three above, check out our Grading Timesavers for two scantron grading options. We are all about saving you time! As test season approaches remember to think smaller. It is better to get a little practice on a regular basis than to create big long tests and exhaust your students before the real thing actually arrives. Try exchanging a bellringer for a test question warm-up or creating an exit ticket with one exam question. Even creating a 5-10 question snapshot weekly or biweekly works well.