PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Students across South Mississippi are preparing to take the Mississippi Curriculum Test to evaluate their progress in school. Students at Cherokee Elementary in Pascagoula are learning different strategies and skills to make sure everyone makes the grade.
Donna River's fourth grade class is focusing on mastering Mathematics. She said it's one of the most complicated subjects on the test.
"We're doing a review and playing games, and making it fun for the kids. I feel a lot of pressure, as every teacher does," Rivers said.
Students Alondra Sosa and Cayden Perez said they need all the extra prep work they can get before the big test. They even admit to having testing jitters.
"I feel nervous," Sosa said about taking the MCT test.
"I am studying very hard. I am bringing home stuff and letting my mom help me with my stuff," Perez said.
This is the second year the curriculum test will be administered to elementary and middle school students. Pascagoula School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said he expects the test questions to be longer and more complicated.
"It is a lot of the same material, but it is just asked at a different level. It is asked at a higher level," Rodolfich said. "You have reading, math, and language. And it is a highly rigorous test."
Rodolfich said test scores in his district were adequate last year, especially in English. He said this year, teachers are better targeting students' weakness to help raise their performance.
"The way we are doing that is reducing class sizes, creating more opportunities for students to read, but also having teachers writing objectives at a higher level."
Rodolfich is optimistic all this hard work will pay off at test time.
"For students who want to go to college and want be competitive with other students around the country and the world, they have to be successful on these tests."
Elementary and middle school students in the Pascagoula School District will start testing on May 12th.