Pop quiz! When Tennessee students in grades 3-11 begin taking TNReady, they will be greeted with:

A) Multiple-choice questions
B) Essay prompts
C) Open-ended responses
D) Multiple-answer questions
E) All of the above

The answer would be E – all of the above.

TNReady, Tennessee’s state test that better measures student progress, uses a few different types of question formats to give students a variety of ways to show what the know and can do. But for parents and older students who might be used to tests that rely predominantly or entirely on multiple-choice questions, it’s important to know that TNReady is different.

To give parents and students a sense of the types of questions asked on TNReady, I dug through the Tennessee Department of Education’s parent guide to find sample questions to show a few of the questions types on the assessment.

Notice, this question is not designed as a multiple-choice question. For this open-ended question, students will have to come up with their own answer instead of choosing between answer A, B, C, or D. Additionally, TNReady questions will examine a student’s mathematical knowledge both with the assistance of a calculator and without. The first subpart will be without a calculator and the second and third subpart will be with a calculator.

This sample question gives an example of a multiple-answer question. Once again this question raises the difficulty of the question since a student has to select two right answers, instead of just one.

TNReady will have questions that are not multiple-choice (like the first two sample questions in this post), but many questions will still be multiple-choice questions like the science question above and the remaining ELA and social studies questions below.

Besides multiple choice and multiple answer, the TNReady ELA section’s first subpart will feature one writing prompt that asks students to read a text and then respond. There will just be one writing prompt on TNReady and that prompt could test explanatory, opinion/argument, or a narrative mode of writing.

Preparation for TNReady doesn’t require any additional test preparation other than the learning happening in Tennessee classrooms during the course of the school year. And it’s really probable that students have already run into these types of questions on classroom or district assessments. But both my parents and I have always found it helpful to get a quick refresher on both the structure of a test I am about to take before I sit down to take it. Once you have that information and after a year of hard work in the classroom, all that’s left for a student to do is wake up, eat some brain food, drink some water, and then, channel your energy and smarts toward showing what you have learned.