By Ciara Daniels
Cactus Canyon Junior High took their first benchmark of the year on Nov. 3, which was the writing test. They continued on Nov. 7-8 with the science and math benchmarks. Testing will conclude Nov. 9 with the reading test.
Students take benchmark tests for several reasons. Benchmark scores help teachers assess how students are doing on all of the standards they have taught up to the benchmark dates. Administrators look at the benchmark results to predict how students are going to do on the AIMS test.
“The reason we have benchmarks is for the student, teacher and parent to have a quick ‘snapshot’ of each student’s progress,” said principal Larry LaPrise. “Benchmarks are a quick way to see who is on target and who needs extra help.”
In order to prepare for benchmarks, students try and get a good night’s sleep and eat a good, nutritious breakfast. Students that usually go to sleep very late at night often go to sleep a lot earlier just to do their best on their benchmarks.
“When it’s time for benchmarks, I make sure I eat right and get good sleep,” said eighth grader Chelsie Stangle. “I want to make sure I am focused and and on task by the time I get to school. It helps me to eat a good breakfast because I can concentrate better and focus.”
Students aren’t necessarily happy about having to take benchmarks every single quarter, but they understand that it’s important and that it’s mandatory. Some students are nervous about benchmarks and some just want to take them and get them over with.
“I am not usually nervous when it’s time to take them. I keep my attitude high and positive. It helps to not be nervous,” said Stangle. “I know I usually do very well on my benchmarks, so I don’t really have to stress about them. They are not something to stress about if you do your best and try hard.”