As most (if not all) of you know by now, the state-mandated Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP) assessments begin April 1. Aside from being a state requirement, the OSTP assessments are a good barometer for student learning. We at EPIC want our students to perform well and succeed in every possible way. As such, here are a few things to consider when helping the students in your life as they get ready to take their tests this year.

Take The Practice Tests

As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Being familiar with the layout of the test, the material being covered and how long it could take to complete it are ways to help prepare for a successful test-taking experience. This is also a great opportunity for students and their teachers to identify any areas of concern that might need to be addressed before exam day.

Recognize And Minimize The Stress

Recognize that test taking can be a particularly stressful experience for some, no matter if you’re eight years old or 80 years old. Take care to remember that your test taker will be looking to you to set the tone of the day. If you are stressed, it’s likely your test taker will be, too. Keeping a calm, encouraging and confident attitude can help reduce anxiety.

Manage Your Time

Unlike their brick-and-mortar counterparts, EPIC students will have to travel to their appointed testing site. Make sure you know where your testing site is, that you leave early and plan to arrive 30 minutes early. For information about testing dates, times and locations, please visit

Also, know how many questions will be on the test and how much time you will have to take it. This will give test takers a good idea how much time they can spend on each question. Again, take the practice tests.

Get A Good Night’s Rest

There is no shortage of proof that a good night’s sleep holds multiple health benefits. In addition to contributing to clearer thinking improved cognitive abilities, students who got at least seven hours of sleep the night before an exam scored 10 percent higher than their peers who didn’t.

Eat A Good Breakfast

It’s not called the most important meal of the day for nothing. The brain needs fuel to function at peak performance. Eating protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, yogurt and cottage cheese in combination with low-fat milk, cereal and fruit are a great way to give your test taker an advantage on test day.

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