“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity” — Oprah Winfrey
BY DACIA JACKSON, Teen Journalist
As we approach the testing period, additional stress is placed on students to succeed and on teachers to get them there. Receiving good test scores generally determines your future educational path. Whether you get into the high school or college of your choice is determined by your test scores.
So, it can be a pretty stressful time for people striving to receive exceptional scores. Due to recent events, the FSA will not continue after this year. So, let’s finish the last one with a bang!
From a teen’s perspective, the FSA reading test is more of a mindset. First of all, the read and response questions are more focused on the basics you learn within your everyday classes. Therefore, you should study concepts, such as theme and point of view.
It’s not necessarily as focused on your ability to read fast but rather on comprehending what you read. Plus, the degree to which you can determine the answer to a question derived from a piece of text you’re reading for the first time.
It’s the simplest way to weed out the people who rely on SparkNotes. These questions vary in complexity, so reading and practicing comprehension is the best way to prepare for this test.
Another beneficial strategy that I have found is studying your word stems. Word stems give you the meaning of words within words, allowing you to find a sufficient definition for the word by recognizing the meaning of the words within the word.
For instance, “inter” in the word intermission means between. The intermission is generally between two parts of a live theatrical performance. Word stems will also strengthen your vocabulary for the grammar section.
Preparing for the FSA Writing is actually very simple. Just pay attention and participate in your normal class activities. Every time your teacher assigns you an essay, you should do it because they help you practice and refine your skills.
Every student has different techniques and ways to write an essay sufficiently. I like to write a detailed outline before I begin writing. The writing process is easier once I plan out the report; however, some people find they write best when they are spontaneous. It all depends on your preference.
The morning before you take the FSA Writing, you should review transitions and hooks. These will help you refresh and focus on the best strategies to use with each of the different types of essays, whether it’s opinion, argumentative, explanatory, or informational. You will succeed with practice!
Now on to the math! FSA mathematics can vary. If you’re focusing on grade-level math, such as third through seventh-grade math, again, paying attention in class and participating in all activities will help you prepare the most. Generally, your teachers will carve time out before testing for studying the material you may have forgotten.
Nevertheless, if you’re doing algebra 1 or 2, or even geometry, the method that worked best for me was math nation. They have multiple tests with hundreds of questions randomized, so you’re forced to learn the material and understand it. Other math programs are ALEKS, Khan Academy, and IXL.
You can also invest in practice FSA books or take online practice tests. Estimating what will be on your test is like finding a needle in a haystack, but learning and mastering everything that has to do with the subject ensures success.
Finally, focus on that growth mindset, that you know the material, you are prepared, and you can knock it out of the park! You will do amazing on all of your exams.
As a teen who also has to take the FSA, I feel your pain; however, saying goodbye to a burden at the end of the school year is definitely something to look forward to. I believe everyone who puts in the time to study and prepare for their exams will do amazing on it. Good Luck!
Dacia Jackson is a teen journalist, author, and artist with aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is currently pursuing an interest in journalism while attending a Florida online school. Dacia is honest, ambitious, and tenacious, so her column will always be truthful, extraordinarily unique, and hopefully impactful.