- Use test shields. (And by test shields, I mean a two-pocket folder!) This gives each student privacy as they test and keeps their eyes focused on their own paper. I buy a box of 1 cent folders from Office Max each year and use them for testing shields. Easy and inexpensive.
- Use a document camera for directions. I used to scan part of the test paper into my computer and show it on my interactive white board. But with a document camera, I can model how to circle answers on the test sheet (and how not to circle the answers). If you don’t have a document camera, see if a classroom teacher or IT will loan you one while testing.
- Color code the testing sheets. I don’t use the copies provided to me in the testing kit. I copy my own to prolong the life of the kit. I always copy test sheets on colored paper – blue for tonal and green for rhythm. Why? Well, to color code my stacks of tonal and rhythm papers. I’ve also found that the darker the paper, the less likely the images will bleed through from the other side.
- Before copying those test sheets, write the name of the test in the upper right hand corner. Although the PMMA and IMMA scoring sheets look similar, there are differences between the two. By writing IMMA in the corner, you’ll know you are using the appropriate testing sheet.
- Upload the CD into your iTunes library. It’s so easy to do and you’ll have the test at your fingerprints. The best part is that if you have the test in your iTunes library, you can seamlessly play the practice items while using the document camera! If you hover over the iTunes icon, a mini menu will appear so that you can keep the document camera screen open while using iTunes.
- If working with little ones, pause the test after the last item on the first page. After testing children for 20 years, I’ve learned that children don’t always realize there’s a back page. It takes them a minute to realize there’s more to go. I find pausing the test gives them a moment to get over the shock and gets them ready to move on. I’ve even squeezed in a movement break for wiggly classes between the front & back page.
- If you have a students with focus issues, you may consider sitting with them while testing. I cover up the item we are listening to, then uncover it for the student to circle the answer. I’ve found that some students can’t focus long enough to listen to the two songs and will pattern mark to cover the fact that they haven’t paid attention. I’ve also included my resource teacher in the testing and had them come to support a child who needs one-on-one support.
I hope these tips help you to have a successful testing experience!