Test Scores are Declining during Covid - Here's What You Can Do

    Posted by Hannah Thompson on January 03, 2023


    As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, more and more children suffer from school closures, remote learning, and other changes. One of the parents' biggest concerns is the decline in their child's test scores during this time. The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed how children learn and study, resulting in lower test scores than in previous years. 

    Why are test scores declining?

    A few months ago, Newark, the state’s largest school district, released test scores for an assessment known as the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment, or NJSLA. The tests include maths, literacy, and science exams; students take these tests from third grade. 

    The scores showed a sharp decline in maths and reading compared to the scores from the assessment conducted in 2019. It showed that throughout the District, 12.7% of Newark students are adept at maths, and 26.2% are proficient at literacy. It is an alarming drop compared to the results in 2019, which recorded 27.2% and 35.7 Newark students proficient in maths and literacy respectively.

    Other district schools have not yet released test scores because they’re afraid parents would want their children to switch schools due to poor performance.

    According to CNN, the decline is  “the largest decline in reading since 1990 and the first ever decline in maths”. The news article featured an interview with acting NCES Associate Commissioner Daniel McGrath. “These are some of the largest declines we have observed in a single assessment cycle in 50 years of the NAEP program”, he said.

    Here are some reasons behind this decline:

    Remote Learning

    The sudden shift to remote learning posed a challenge to students and teachers, especially since not all students can access the technology and other resources needed to participate in online learning. Some students couldn’t cope with the lack of in-person instruction and interaction. In physical classrooms, students engage in fun learning experiences which keep them focused and motivated. 

    Limited Instructional Time.

    Students have less instructional time allocated to them since the pandemic disrupted the school calendar. The amount of material covered makes it harder for students to learn and retain information because the instructional time was reduced.

    Increased Stress and Anxiety

    The pandemic caused significant stress and anxiety for many students, particularly those who have experienced illness or loss in their families. This stress can negatively impact their ability to concentrate and perform well on tests.

    Lack of Social Interaction

    The pandemic also limited social interaction, a crucial part of a student's development. The lack of socialization and peer-to-peer interactions can result in feelings of isolation and loneliness, impacting a student's academic performance.

    Technological Challenges 

    Remote learning has required students to use technology in new and different ways, which can be challenging for some students. Technical difficulties, such as poor internet connectivity or problems with software, can disrupt learning and make it harder for students to stay engaged.

    How to improve your child's declining test scores


    You still have a chance to get your child's test scores on track. Here's what you can do:

    Assess your child.

    Create a learning plan to fix the missing bricks.

    Missing bricks are subjects or concepts your child doesn’t understand. Now that you know what areas to concentrate on, try to create a plan for your child to acquire more knowledge.

    You can start by defining the objectives. What do you want your child to gain from each lesson? What exactly do you need to do to achieve these goals? Knowing your child’s academic prowess will make it easier to identify your next steps. 


    Follow the plan. 

    Creating a plan may be easy, but following through can be daunting. Set schedules that you can keep up with to prevent falling off even before getting started.


    Pay special attention to core skills.

    Daily assessments are helpful in this area. Pay attention to areas of improvement and make changes in the lesson plan if necessary.


    Educational systems are still recovering from the impact of the global pandemic. Your child can still get on track and achieve academic excellence despite declining test scores if you apply the abovementioned steps. 


    At Genie Academy, we apply the best teaching techniques to ensure your child gets the best results. Get your free assessment today.







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    Topics: Standardized Testing, Child Education, Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Better Education, American Math, Learning Loss

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