According to the Tennessee Department of Education, the TCAP Achievement Test is a "timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies." The test is mandated for grades 3 through 8, but schools may also choose to administer optional tests for students in kindergarten and first and second grades.
Kingsport City Schools and Sullivan County Schools will be administering TCAP assessment tests this Monday through Friday (April 9-13), while Hawkins County students will take their turn April 16-20.
Being properly prepared for the test at school, however, is only part of making sure each child does his or her best on the assessment.
"I guess we're most concerned about and want to emphasize (to parents) that their child be there every day," said Dory Creech, KCS director of comprehensive school improvement and accountability. "If they don't finish - let's say they come on Monday and don't show up the rest of the week - then all of the rest is scored a zero.
"My biggest tip for parents is to make sure your children are there and on time every day, and to avoid appointments. ... Attendance is just really key."
Creech and KCS offer several tips for families during test week. The key, Creech said, is to help create a low-stress environment for test takers.
•Make sure your child gets plenty of rest during test week.
•Feed your child a healthy breakfast each morning or make sure your child arrives at school early enough to eat breakfast in the cafeteria.
•Wake up early to avoid being rushed in the morning.
•Place encouraging notes in your child's backpack and/or have positive conversations about the TCAP Achievement Test throughout the week.
For more information about the TCAP Achievement Test and additional tips for test week, visit www.state.tn.us/education/assessment/ or www.k12k.com.