Testing Tips For Success

Testing Tips for Success
Posted on 04/01/2019
Student taking a test with a pencil.

Testing season has begun. Here are some tips and policies to help your family prepare.

Parents should have received information about the various test scheduled from April 2 through May 17.

Click here for a full exam schedule for the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), Statewide Science Assessment (SSA) and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS).

Here are a few practical tips to help your child prepare for standardized assessments:

  1. Sleep well, eat breakfast and arrive on time. Free breakfast is available in the school cafeteria for all students regardless of financial need.
  2. Read and listen to all directions carefully.
  3. Budget your time wisely and mark questions you skipped so you can go back if time allows.
  4. If you don’t know the answer, eliminate wrong answers first and try to make educated guesses by using context clues and recognizing distractors.
  5. If time allows, go back and check your work.


The following are a few policies to review with your student before testing:

  • Electronic Devices---Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, smartphones, and smartwatches, at any time during testing OR during breaks (e.g., restroom), even if they are turned off or students do not use them. If your student is found with an electronic device, his or her test will be invalidated.
  • Testing Rules Acknowledgment---All state tests include a Testing Rules Acknowledgment that reads, "I understand the testing rules that were just read to me. If I do not follow these rules, my test score may be invalidated." Prior to testing, test administrators read the rules to students, and students acknowledge that they understand the testing rules by signing below the statement in their test.
  • Discussing Test Content after Testing---The last portion of the testing rules read to students before they sign below the Testing Rules Acknowledgment states, “Because the content in all statewide assessments is secure, you may not discuss or reveal details about the passages or items after the test. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting online, for example, on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.” Please make sure your student understands that "discussing” test content includes any kind of electronic communication, such as texting, emailing, or posting to blogs or social media websites. While students may not share information about secure test content after testing, this policy is not intended to prevent students from discussing their testing experiences with their parents/families.
  • Working Independently---Students are responsible for doing their own work during the test and for protecting their answers from being seen by others. If students are caught cheating during testing, their tests will be invalidated. FDOE employs a test security company, Caveon Test Security, to analyze student test results to detect unusually similar answer patterns. Student test within a school that are found to have extremely similar answer patterns will have their results invalidated.
  • Leaving Campus---If your student begins a test session and leaves campus before completing it (for lunch, an appointment or illness, etc.), he or she WILL NOT be allowed to complete that test session. If your student does not feel well on the day of testing, it may be best for him or her to wait and be tested on a make-up day. Please remember not to schedule appointments on testing days.
  • Testing Accommodations--- If your student has an IEP or Section 504 plan, please contact the school to discuss the testing accommodations that will be provided for your student.

Thank you for supporting your student and encouraging them to do their best during this test administration.

The School District of Palm Beach County