The Time Has Come


Staff Writer: Aparna Raghu, Grade 8


Ever since my third grade year, the state of Pennsylvania has required all students to take a standardized test on English, math, and science. This exam is formally known as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA. PSSA testing may not be your favorite, but this year, you can make it a little better with the following tips and tricks!


Early preparation is always the best and most helpful way to excel on the PSSA exam. As the warm, spring months roll around, teachers will begin discussing with their classes about the dreaded word, PSSA, but it is important to realize that class preparation is just as important as preparation at home because the tips and tricks your teacher provides can sometimes be extinct elsewhere. Furthermore, your teacher has more experience on the subject than you, so your background knowledge may not be sufficient for the test.


Studying at home is another key component to ace the PSSA exams. Remember, PSSA exams include knowledge of most of the curriculum of that year. At home, look through old packets and materials from the school year to recollect any information you learned over the year, but forgot or didn’t clearly understand. Another way to be fully prepared is to look at PSSA practice tests from previous years and get an understanding of the types of questions asked for your grade level. This will assist you because you will have an idea of the format of the questions, and you can be less surprised when the test is in your hands.


The night before PSSAs won’t feel like a nightmare if you know you prepared at home and tried your absolute best to practice, learn, and memorize the material.  With preparation and focus, you can put your best effort on the exam, and you can relax a bit the night before knowing you are well-prepared. On the day of the exam, make sure you eat a healthy and plentiful breakfast, and you have two number two pencils, a water bottle, eraser, and lots of rest from the night before. This is because your brain can not properly function without a proper source of energy and ideal amount of rest and sleep.


Is it TDA time? When writing essays or any sort of written response during your test, hand cramps are common, but remember that you have as much time as you need and taking breaks once in a while is fine. A neat legible essay is better than a rushed illegible essay. When you finish your test, always remember to go back and check your answers and think through each question. A tip while taking the test is to highlight questions you are unsure of and go back to them to rethink them. Looking at a question with a fresh mind always helps.


I hope you will rethink how you will prepare for the 2019 PSSA testing season and will try my tips and tricks to ace the PSSAs. I wish all students good luck on their PSSAs this year!

We are testing on the following dates:

ELA testing will be April 23-25 (Tues, Wed, Thurs)

Math testing will be April 29-30 (Mon/Tues)  

8th grade Science testing will be May 1-2 (Wed/Thurs)

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