Top 6 Test Prep Tips from Teachers on Instagram

How do you help students get into the right mindset to do their best on a growth assessment, and try hard without getting frustrated? We recently shared 7 ways to prepare for MAP Growth for teachers, proctors, and administrators to get ready for spring testing. In this post, we want to share a few more ideas specifically for teachers, by teachers.

As you prepare for your next MAP Growth assessment, here are five great ideas from educators on Instagram. Follow our Instagram account for daily practical inspiration and more tips like this. Tag @NWEA to share your own ideas.

1) Positivity Wall (idea from @sjpneponset): Cover a wall with helpful tips from fellow students. My favorite part of this example is the figure in the middle that says “Stand here to be surrounded by positive thoughts.”

Positivity Wall (idea from @sjpneponset)

2) Post-It Goal Getters (idea from @madeinfifthgrade): Print post-its reminding students of both their previous score and their goal score. The bottom of the note affirms “I got this. I’m smart. I’m strong. I can do anything I put my mind to.” Make your own or snag a template from this teacher’s Instagram bio.

Post-It Goal Getters (idea from @madeinfifthgrade)

3) Upper Class Encouragement (idea from @_misshodgkins): Have students from older grades provide moral support and practical tips to younger kids. Here are lovely notes eighth graders wrote to first graders at this school:

Upper Class Encouragement (idea from @_misshodgkins)


4) Testing Bootcamp (idea from @ateacher_andherdog): If you’ve read The Wild Card, you’ll love this one. It’s all about “setting the stage to engage.” Imagine turning your review session into a bootcamp focused on helping students practice good test-taking habits (e.g. paying attention and reading every question, not giving up, trying their best). This teacher says this activity was so popular, kids were asking for it every day.

Testing Bootcamp (idea from @ateacher_andherdog):

5) Snack Attack (idea from @misswillett5th): If bootcamps are not your thing, how about amping up your review session with a fun snack theme? I’ve seen several teachers use “Donut Stress.” I love how Miss Willett reinforced this message with her door decorations, and that her donuts were accompanied with a thoughtful test-taking reminder sheet. I bet you can recreate this one with different snacks as well.

Snack Attack (idea from @misswillett5th):

6) Desktop Reminders (idea from @kingdomacademy): No time to try the ideas above? No worries. Keep it simple yet motivating by writing short messages for kiddos on their desks on test day with dry-erase markers.

Desktop Reminders (idea from @kingdomacademy)

Which idea do you like best? And what else are you doing in your school or classroom to help kids get in zone for test day? Share your ideas with us on Instagram or Twitter and tag @NWEA. And if you haven’t seen our Pinterest yet, you can follow us there for even more inspiration.


Build math confidence

Lots of kids dread math. You can help them love it. Get advice on how from our Teach. Learn. Grow. math experts in our latest ebook.


Blog post

For policymakers

There’s a lot policymakers can do to support schools during COVID-19. We talked with experts Evan Stone and LaTanya Pattillo about what to focus on during SY21–22.

Read the post


The ABCs of reading

Effective literacy instruction must rely on the science of reading and best practices in balanced literacy.

Learn more


Sign up for our newsletter and get recent blog posts—and more—delivered right to your inbox.