Calming the EQAO Jitters

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Taking a test is never easy, especially when you are a young child in grade 3 and 6 experiencing the standardized EQAO test for the first time. It can be overwhelming and stressful for both children and parents. It certainly doesn’t have to be though. Anticipating the Ontario EQAO testing period can be as natural as any other school project or assignment, one filled with learning, opportunity, and new insight. Consider the reminders and tips below and discuss them with your family to help reduce any rising test jitters.

EQAO test scores do not count towards your child’s grade. Rather, they are a way for schools and districts to evaluate how well they are doing at teaching. Remind children that the EQAO is really testing how well the teachers and schools are doing.

• Test results can reveal new areas of need that spark the implementation of new strategies and better practices to support learners.
• Results indicate whether new resources and/or technologies are needed in schools and help determine what current strategies are working so that teachers, schools, and boards can maximize their instructional effectiveness.
• Tests are based on the Ontario Curriculum, so there will be no content surprises. Additionally, tests are developed, administered, and scored by Ontario educators meaning students are supported and evaluated by those who understand them best.
• It is not required that students undergo additional test preparation at home. Teachers and school are well equipped and well prepared, so you don’t have to be.
• If you or your child prefers to know details and structures ahead of time, sample assessment tests are available on the EQAO website under “Parent Resources.” There is also information about how results are communicated, and are guides to understanding the meaning of the results.

Most importantly, always keep in mind that the EQAO standardized tests are only ONE objective indicator of individual achievement of provincial standards. It goes without saying that a child is much more complex than a single test. Assessment and evaluation is a dynamic and continual process that includes an entire spectrum of child-specific methods. Share this fact with your Grade 3, 6, and even grade 10 students writing the test for the third time, to help ease the jitters and recognize the value in their efforts.

For more information on this topic, please contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit


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