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An introduction to Tennessee Ready testing

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2016 10:21 AM

If you live in Tennessee, you've likely heard of TNReady. This series of tests helps schools evaluate student learning and teacher success. Read on to learn more:

What is TNReady? 
In the past, area students took the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests. Now, TNReady replaces the math and English arts tests of the past. The new testing does not rely on memorization and test-taking skills, but instead focuses on assessing what a student actually understands. 

Students in third through 11th grade take the math and English language arts tests to establish if individuals, classes and districts learn on par with the state standards. The TNReady Parent Guide suggested people look at the testing as a yearly academic check-up to make sure all students will be ready to graduate and move on to college when the time comes.

During the reading and writing portions of the tests, students will read paragraphs and answer questions, followed by essays where they must dig deeper into how they came to their conclusions. The math exams will require students to complete equations with several stages without using a calculator. The tests are computer-based, and anyone who is an English language learner or receives special education help is able to use tools like extended time, frequent breaks or even a paper-based test if that will better serve his or her needs.

Why is TNReady important?
TNReady provides a better way for teachers and school districts to see what their students learn and if there are any subjects the kids need help on. Students take the TNReady tests on computers in a format that allows them to gain experience using technology that may help them as they move on to post-secondary education and careers. Educators can alter their curricula based on the test scores to ensure their students fully grasp the subject matter and are ready to advance to the next phase of their schooling.

How can parents help?
Your kids spend in-class time preparing for the TNReady tests. Homework assignments, projects and exams all add up to provide useful information that students will use. You can make sure your children do their homework and encourage them to do practice tests beforehand. Going through the motions of taking the test will likely reduce exam anxiety and help the kids do their best when they take the real TNReady test. It is also important to note that you shouldn't compare your children's scores on the TNReady to past TCAP tests. These exams are entirely different.