Students prepare for LEAP and iLEAP

March 15, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

"Be positive. Who rules this test? You do," says teacher Kelli Miguez. That's what teachers are trying to convince students efore they take the LEAP and iLEAP tests. 8th grader Alec Savoie says, "You can't go to high school if you don't pass it."

High stakes tests that come with a lot of pressure. 6th grader Mary Buller says, "Whenever I really start thinking about it, I sorta get a little panicky." One boy says, "Like sacred and nervous and stuff." 7th grader Savannah LaFleur says, "Real nervous."

14 year old Savannah LaFleur and other F.K. White Middle School students are trying to calm their nerves and learn about the test at after school workshops. 8th grader Aman says, "We've been going over a lot of things that were on LEAP tests in previous years."

LEAP tests are so important some students start preparing months in advance. Mary says, "I spend a couple of months studying really hard."

They spend extra time going over lessons at home or taking practice tests. 6th grader Reed Alexander says, "Mainly I find what we've been studying recently. Then when I'm finished with that, I look through the book at random pages." 6th grader Emma Islam says, "I try to study every day to make sure that I have the procedures and methods."

They learn test taking strategies. Reed says, "Process of elimination and skipping questions when you don't know the answers and coming back to them." 8th grader Chloe Keller says, "Just pay attention to the question because the question is really easy if you pay attention to the way it's worded." 6th grader Dallas Lauderdale says, "It's just another test."

While it's anyone's guess as to what exactly is on the tests, Miguez says the state expects students to know what is taught in class. Miguez says, "We cover our GLEs, our Grade Level Expectations, and if we cover all those, then by the time the test rolls around we're prepared. Bring it on."

Bring it on because these students are armed with knowledge.

Students in grades 3rdr through 9th take LEAP and iLEAP tests, while students in 10th or 11th grades take the Graduation Exit Exam.