How to Prepare for the CMAS

It’s time once again for schools across the state to conduct standardized testing.  Each grade level from elementary to high school will participate. This is to help determine how Colorado students perform, how they progressed throughout the year, and how our classrooms will better serve them.

Why do Colorado Students Take Annual Assessments?

These exams are the most reliable way to measure students’ performance across the state. They inform schools of any changes that may be necessary to strengthen their student outcomes.

What is the CMAS Test?

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS, assesses student performance in four key subjects within the academic standards of Colorado. The students are evaluated in:

  • Math (grades 3-9)
  • English language arts (grades 3-9)
  • Science (grades 5, 8, and 11)
  • Social studies (a sampling of students in grades 4 and 7)

The CMAS was devised to determine specific skills such as critical thinking, writing, and problem solving rather than previous, more generalized, fill-in-the-bubble tests.

Steps for Parents to Prepare Their Children For the CMAS?

Many challenges exist in getting students ready for standardized assessments. As parents, you want to make sure that your attitude about education has a positive and lasting impact on the performance of your child:

Improve brain power.

The night before testing, make sure that your child has everything like pens or a calculator.  Ensure that any preliminary paperwork is filled out, if needed. On the exam day, if your child does not feel well, it is best to keep them home and let them make the test up on a later date.

Foster good study habits and critical-thinking skills.

Test preparation is important, however, keeping up with your student’s academic progress and staying in tune with their teachers and school activities is paramount. This way, you can establish an open flow of communication with their educators.  

Consider your child’s past performance and have your learner practice.

You may want to give your student some exercises to strengthen the subject that they are having trouble in a particular area.  Gather available sample tests from the school or find them together at the library and practice several weeks before the date of the test. Look into after-school test preparation activities.  This sets the tone for a learning environment that fosters and supports more preparation. Make sure your learner sleeps well and has a good breakfast the day of the test.

Relax and stay positive.

Be careful to not pass on your concerns to your student, even if you are anxious about their performance. If they become nervous, let them practice some relaxation techniques like counting from one to ten and taking deep breaths, so they can try them during the test. The best test-takers are comfortable, confident and committed to doing their best on the CMAs.