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How important is testing in the elementary grades?

It has been my experience that testing serves two primary purposes:

To assess the student's mastery of the subjects he has studied and for gaining experience in test taking skills.

From our experience I learned nothing I did not already know about my child's weaknesses and strengths academically, but it did provide a tool for accountability for both of us and a sense of the importance of what he was learning.  The scores are not really important at that grade level, therefore the real value I found was in preparing them for the discipline of timed tests in a controlled setting.  Having had the experience of taking these tests makes the more difficult ones they will have to take in high school less stressful as they would be used to the routine of timed tests.  My advice would be to consider taking an assessment type test at the end of every other school year to help prepare them for what may be ahead before graduation.

As in all things, God may be calling us to different careers and the need for various credentials for future vocations after high school but He does want us to do all things with excellence.  Test taking builds character as it requires discipline, self-control, patience, perseverance and diligence and those are great qualities to carry us through life.

Seek Him for what is best for your child's needs and if doing it with his best in mind you won't pursue it or avoid it for the wrong reasons.


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