standardized testing in high school

SAT’s Aren’t the Only Test to Worry About in High School?

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated

SAT’s Aren’t the Only Test to Worry About in High School?



It’s testing time around here for us/the oldest.  I am following old school traditions. I enforce eating a hot and heavy breakfast – hungry or not.  I make sure we get to bed a little early, or at least on time.  Lastly, there is little to no rushing to get to school and urgent reminders all the way to school for the oldest to do her best and take- her- time.  Weeks before the test I try to give practice questions and prepare our oldest by letting her know that testing is the name of the game right now.  If she wants to get to the college of her dreams, like she says, then she will have to play the game.  Meaning she will have to put her best foot forward when it comes to taking the test.   Pressure? Perhaps, but the stakes are high.  I try to balance stressing to our oldest that she must do well on the tests with telling  her that the tests she will take are not an indicator of her intelligence but a game to be played well.
Now going on my sixth year as a parent going through standardized testing I am familiar with elementary and middle school standardized testing. We leave the state standardized test that goes from 3rd to 8th grade.  Next year, when our oldest enters high school, standardized testing will be new territory for me.  What I know so far is that each state tests their high schoolers differently.  In the state we live in there is a Basic Skills test given in 9th grade. All students must pass this test in order to receive a diploma.  Our states also test high schoolers in certain subjects with End of Course testing(EOCT)

What are end of course tests/exams (EOCT)?

Standardized tests given at the end of a course (yearlong or semester) to determine if your child has comprehended the material.  Think, final exam.

Does the teacher make the EOCT my child will take?

No, most school districts hire a testing company to create and score the test.

What EOCT will my child take?

Every state is different.  My state currently has 4 EOCT: English 1, Algebra I/ Mathematics for the Technologies 2, Biology I/ Applied Biology 2 and U.S. History.  While other states have 12.  You need to check either the state department of education website or call them up and ask.

Are there racial achievement gaps in the EOCT?

Pretty sure you will find one. Where I live the

% of high school students who scored an A in 2013 in:


Algebra I/ Mathematics for the Technologies 2

Biology I/ Applied Biology 2

English 1

U.S. History and the Constitution





Hispanic or Latino


American Indian or Alaska Native


Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander




How does one study for EOCT?

Practice, practice, practice.

What happens if my child fails EOCT?

Check with your child’s school and then double check with the district office.  In some states they may calculate the EOCT as a percentage of your child’s final grade.  If your child fails the EOCT and their grades are already low then then they make have to retake the course.  However, if their grades are high and for some reason they don’t do so hot then the EOCT just may very well bring their grade down. 

Suggestions for the Big Kids:

  • Encourage studying all year long so that they won’t have to cram for the test.
  • Review the academic standards for the EOCT subject.  Ask your child about certain terms and concepts.


What standardized testing level are you in right now – elementary, middle, high school or all?


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