JOHNSTON COUNTY — For most students, just hearing the word “exam” brings about anxiety and stress. This week hundreds of Johnston County high school students will be tested on their knowledge of basic subjects they’ve been taught all year.
End of Course testing begins on Monday for students studying Algebra I, English II and Biology. EOCs measures a student’s knowledge as specified by the NC Standard Course of Study in that subject, according to Tammy Howard, director of accountability services for the state’s Department of Public Instruction.
The exam counts as 25 percent of the overall grade and students must pass to receive credit for the course.
“The information on the test directly aligns with what the students were taught in class,” said Howard. “They aren’t going to be tested on information they haven’t had the opportunity to learn. Teachers have been trained on the content standards.”
Chase Ferrell, principal at Corinth Holders High School, said EOCs are typically taken by ninth and 10th grade students. Testing is conducted twice a year and is something both students and parents can prepare for.
“We encourage students to get plenty of rest the day before exams and to be sure to eat breakfast the day of the exam,” Ferrell explained. “Parents can be supportive of their students by encouraging them to do their best and to go into the exams with a positive outlook. We have also seen that parents encouraging their students to keep up with their courses by studying throughout the semester leads to exam success.”
But it students haven’t held on to all those notes and old tests, they still can make up for it.
“Students should certainly take advantage of review sessions offered the day before each exam,” added Sonya Grice, the school’s testing coordinator. “The key to a successful outcome is remaining focused and committed to school work throughout the entire semester.”
English instructor Theresa Alampi-Cortez suggests students review at least 20-30 minutes a night per class. The more prepared students are, the less stressed they will be. She noted practice tests are available on various websites including nysedregents.org and tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/taks/online-tests.
Lisa Nathan, a guidance counselor at Clayton High School also offered www.MathandReadingHelp.org as good resource for students to find information about handling stress. She said the website includes tips on time management, staying rested and eating healthy.
“One way to reduce stress before an exam is to approach the exam with confidence,” said CHS counselor Jessica Druzak. “A few ways students can reduce stress during the test is to read the directions carefully, budget time, skip the question if your mind goes blank, and don’t panic”
Clint Eaves, principal at CHS, echoed other comments about staying rested and eating a good breakfast, especially during exam time.
“Students should focus on the positives that are going on,” he said. “Give your best effort on the exam. That is all anyone ever asks of you.”
EOC testing will be conducted at area high schools from Jan. 14 -17.