The word test can make students cringe. But ready or not, it's time to take standardized tests for many students in local districts.

The Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) is administered in third through eighth grade in reading and math, and in fifth and eighth grade in science. This can also be a test for parents to make sure kids are ready.

It doesn't have to be stressful, says Kim Bilanko, principal of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in the Lake Washington School District.

Grades three through five start the MSP this week.

Before students go into the classroom we really want to make sure they are giving words of encouragement, says Bilanko. The tests are not timed so there is no reason to rush. Remind your child to take deep breaths the student has as much time as they need.

MSP testing has attracted scrutiny from some parents who believe the tests are not an accurate way to measure a student's progress. The tests are required by the state but there are accepted alternatives, which some parents have selected.

This spring, the window for online testing is April 24 through May 31. One subject is tested per day. The window is larger for online testing than it is for the paper-pencil format, which runs from April 24 through May 16.

More information on the tests

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