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Say the words, “Standardized Test”, particularly when the results of the test contributes to a grade, and students become stressed. It is painful for faculty
to watch this stress build and all of us want strategies to mediate this negative response. What are some strategies that faculty might implement to help students cope?
Some suggest that the best approach is to eliminate standardized tests during nursing school, and depend only on faculty-made tests to determine student progress. However,
this strategy is very much like never letting your children ride bikes, because they might get hurt. There will likely come a time, as children grow, when they will gain a
great deal of physical and psycho-social benefits from riding that bike. Similarly, despite the stress associated with taking standardized tests, they help students to prepare
for the NCLEX examination, which they MUST take. In addition, when these tests are required throughout the curriculum and at the end of the course of study, students receive a
great deal of information about individual and aggregate performance. These results can be used as direction for student remediation AND for curriculum revision. So the question
becomes, “How can faculty help students manage stress associated with taking standardized tests?” The following are tips that may help.