For Parents

When students take TNReady, the state’s new and improved English and math assessment, they are taking an important step to being ready for what comes after high school–whether going to career training, college, the military, or work. TNReady will help Tennessee students graduate ready to take on the world and win. TNReady will be a change for our students, and there are things parents can do to help support their students in being ready for this new assessment. The Tennessee Department of Education has more information for parents at its website,

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Learning Continues Through the Summer

Although school’s out, learning doesn’t need to stop. The summer is a great time for parents to connect with their kids on topics they’ve been learning about all year long in fun, interactive ways. Conduct an at-home science project. Sharpen math skills with print-out summer worksheets. And of course, head over to your local library for great books and summer programming. With just a little planning, you can teach your child something new and have a great time this summer.

Use Math in the Real World

Many of the math skills students are expected to develop are ones that can be put to use every day. Don’t make math something that’s just practiced in school, give it some real world application – measure distances when you travel, count change at the grocery store, divide whole pizzas into fractions (or slices) on family movie night. You’ll be having fun and getting your child ready for classwork and assessments.

Work on problems with real world application.

Reduce Test Jitters

Some kids can feel significant stress before an assessment. A common cause of test anxiety is insufficient preparation – make sure your child has studied enough to feel confident. But also watch for signs of anxiety coming from deeper sources, and make sure your child has opportunities to learn stress management techniques. Above all, remind your child that he or she is loved, no matter the test results.

For stress management techniques, click here.

Use Context Clues to Learn New Words

There will be no rote memorization of vocabulary words for TNReady. Nevertheless, your child will probably run into some new words. Good news! Students can use their problem-solving skills to find context clues to help them understand what the unknown word means. Help your children learn how to understand on their own by using some context clues strategies.

Know How and When to Calculate

On the TNReady math section, Tennessee students are expected to solve problems with and without a calculator. When asking your child about what they are learning in math, make sure they know conceptually how to get the right answer. Students of all grades can practice solving math problems without a calculator by using free online worksheets for whole numbers and fractions. The additional experience helps cement your child’s understanding of math and critical thinking skills. Parents and students also can get a preview of the math section of TNReady Part 2 with these sample questions.

Try Your Hand at the Free Online Worksheets

Notice and note in reading

Close reading is an important skill that parents can help their students learn. When you read with your child, ask questions about the text. Great questions include “What is the main idea?” and “Can you describe the characters and how they differ?” And a very important question is “How do you know that?” Some of the English questions on TNReady will ask students to support their answers with evidence from the reading. In this way, TNReady will be able to measure reasoning skills, not just memorization skills. Students are scheduled to begin taking part 2 of TNReady in late April and early May. Take a look at sample questions for the English Language Arts section of TNReady Part 2.

Questions to ask your child, while reading together.

Stay Informed

As Tennessee transitions to the new TNReady test, the replacement for the math and English TCAP tests, parents play an important role in supporting their students and their schools. To stay informed, read a letter to parents about TNReady from Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen. “Parents should be able to clearly understand what their students know, how they are meeting grade-level expectations, and how they are performing compared to their peers,” Dr. McQueen says. You can have a say in the format of the annual parent report about TNReady results by offering feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education.

Read the Letter on Classroom Chronicles.

Learn More about TNReady

TNReady is the new TCAP for math and English. This improved test helps you know if your kids are learning the real-world skills they need to succeed! At you can learn more about the what, how, and why behind TNReady. You’ll also find an in-depth parent guide, sample questions, and other helpful resources.

Click here for the how, what, and why of TNReady.

Know the Difference

TNReady is the new and improved TCAP, which means that many questions are being structured differently, allowing students to show more fully all they know about math and English language arts. This test lets students engage more through interactive questions, ordering questions, and of course, multiple choice. Flip to Page 7 of the TNReady Parent Guide to see specific examples of the question changes between TNReady and TCAP.

Flip to Page 7 of the TNReady Parent Guide

Help with homework without knowing the answer

Tennessee’s higher standards have kids learning some concepts in an earlier grade than their parents did. Remember that parents don’t need to be completely confident with the lesson to help their students. Ask your children to explain concepts they’re working on – teaching someone else is a great way to learn. Because TNReady will ask students to show their work on some problems, you can help them prepare by asking them to show YOU how they got their math or English answer.

Understand Reading Levels

Many books for kids include reading level or age guidelines. RL4, for example, means reading level 4, and RL4.3 indicates month three of fourth grade. Books sometimes include age recommendations, like 009-0011 for ages 9 to 11. Other rating systems include Guided Reading Level, Developmental Reading Assessment, and Lexile Measures. Your child’s teacher can recommend appropriate levels for school and home reading.

Learn more about reading levels

Prepare for Taking the Test with Practice Questions

TNReady, the new TCAP test for math and English, allows students to show fully all that they know. Visit with your child to practice with sample test questions and better prepare for test day.

Click here for practice TNReady questions.

Know the Question Types

TNReady will be a change for students because it is not just a multiple-choice test. You can view sample questions to understand the types of questions your child might be asked on TNReady so that you can make sure your child is ready.

View TNReady questions.

Meet with the Teacher

Meet with your child’s teacher to get insight into both how your child is doing and different ways your child can grow. When you talk with the teacher, you also can learn more about what is happening in the classroom to prepare your child for TNReady. Prepare with questions before the meeting to make the most of your time.

Prepare with questions.

Create a Supportive Study Environment

Creating a supportive study environment at home can make all the difference in being ready for TNReady. Ask your child a few questions to make homework assignments easier to manage. Do you understand what you’re supposed to do? Do you have what you need to do this assignment? Does your answer make sense to you? Read more ideas about helping your child study at home.

Read more on helping your child study at home.

Encourage Reading, So Learning is a Year-long Activity

TNReady is not just a “fill in the bubble” test. It measures real-world reading, writing, and analytical skills. Support your student in developing these skills with activities at home. Encourage your child to read grade-level books and engage with them as they read to get ready for TNReady.

Check out this list of grade-level books.

Tap TNReady Resources

Find your go-to TNReady resource. The Parent Toolkit from the Tennessee Department of Education is a great resource on TNReady for parents. The guidebook walks through changes to the state’s math and English language arts TCAP tests and lays out FAQs surrounding TNReady. Of course, your student’s teacher is also another wonderful resource, as well, for helping your child learn and succeed.

Get the Parent Toolkit.

Take Time to Recharge

After the TNReady preparation that has come from high-quality teaching this school year, holiday breaks offer a chance for students and parents to recharge and refocus. Spend time together on fun activities, reading, enjoying music and other arts, and talking about how the school year is going. An enriching time-off will help your child head back to class refreshed and ready to learn more.

Get ideas for school break activities.

Motivate Your Child

As your students return to class, make sure you’re taking notice of not just the things they are working on, but also the things they are excelling at. Encouragement helps children feel confident in their abilities and will allow them to perform well on their assessments, demonstrating what they know and can do.

Discover more ways to motivate your child.

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