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Published April 10, 2013, 10:07 PM

EGF students working hard on test prep after five snow days

Some East Grand Forks High School students are cramming these next couple of days for the "extremely difficult" state standardized tests.

Some East Grand Forks High School students are cramming these next couple of days for the "extremely difficult" state standardized tests.

Students take the reading, writing, and math portions next week but the five school days students missed from snow storms have made preparations even tougher. Officials say missing just one day is a major setback for students. Now, the district is dealing with the loss of an entire week's worth of preparation, and on top of that this year's tests are supposedly harder than ever before.

The clock is ticking with only three schools days left before what some refer to as the "toughest standardized tests in the nation".

"It's less than a week away, the kids are just getting very nervous," especially the math portion, says English teacher Minda Schumacher.

Brian Loer, East Grand Forks Principal: "When the state's only passing 50 percent of the kids in the very first time, something is wrong."

On top of tough tests, four monday blizzards didn't help. Principal Loer says this year's weather has hindered preparation more than any year before.

Loer: "It ends up being a little bit more difficult for the teachers and for the students, it's a cramming thing where they have to get all the standards taught they have to get all the things taken care of so it's not really a choice in the matter you have to cover what you have to cover and make do with what you've got."

But teachers say they don't wait around, they start educating for these tests at the beginning of the school year.

Minda: "I think at this point, it's kind of you know it or you don't."

Loer says state officials remain tight lipped about exactly what is on these tests. In fact administrators and even teachers aren't allowed to see the test at all.

Right now how everything is slated so you have to take the math portion three times - If you don't pass it after three times, you can still graduate. But that is set to expire with the next junior class. Only one attempt will be allowed with the result being final, but administrators are expecting some changes in the future.

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