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An introduction to Georgia Milestones

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2016 11:05 AM

All students in Georgia grades 3 through 12 will take the Georgia Milestones. The State Board of Education approved this set of assessments as a way to gain insight into how students and educators perform. Read on to learn more:

What are the Georgia Milestones?
According to the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Milestones include mathematics, science, social studies and English language arts testing. These exams are transitioning from paper to computer administration, which will allow students a chance to become familiar with technology in a format similar to what they may come across in post-secondary education. The Georgia Milestones provide educators and administrators with a measure to hold the entire state to, which allows for comparison and alterations to promote student success.

Some mathematics and language arts test questions require constructed responses, while the language arts assessment includes a writing composition section full of essay questions based on paragraphs the students read.

Why are the Georgia Milestones important?
The GaDOE chose to implement this testing as a way to provide students with a look into how they are doing and help them prepare for post-secondary education and their careers. By taking these exams, educators and administrators learn whether students are ready to move to the next grade level with a full understanding and knowledge base of the necessary materials. Those who score poorly may need some assistance, and mass groups of students who do not do well may indicate that teachers should adjust their curricula or teaching methods.

The GaDOE suggested community members consider the Georgia Milestones scores as a barometer to gauge how schools and students are doing. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn't compare the new tests with the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests of the past as the exams are too different to analyze together.

How can you prepare your kids for the tests?
To help you children ready for the Georgia Milestones, encourage them to try practice tests. These exams offer your kids the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the test format. They may have less anxiety when it comes to taking the real test, which can greatly improve their scores. Also, make sure your children do their daily homework assignments and study for regular exams. These tasks are all preparation for the Georgia Milestones.