Students across the state are getting ready for testing that could have a major impact on their schools' future.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, students in elementary and middle schools in the state will take the MCT II test. It's designed to test their proficiency in a variety of subjects, like reading and math.
Students at Oakland Heights Elementary held a pep rally in advance of the tests to try to get the students excited and ready.
"We thought it would be fun for the children and let them see the importance of the test," said Marilyn Faulkner, a third grade teacher at Oakland Heights Elementary. "Because really our school is judged by how well the children do. And we have been preparing the children since August and we want them to do well."
Faulkner said the student council representatives for third through fifth grades planned the pep rally, which featured the Meridian High School football team. It was a way to take a break from studying while emphasizing the importance of treating the test seriously.
There was a similar sight at Witherspoon Elementary in Meridian, where another pep rally was held to get the students there ready for the testing, too.
Parents and friends of the school were invited to be part of the excitement, along with MHS cheerleaders and the drum line.
Officials at Witherspoon say they know the importance of this test to their school's future.
"With parents' support, it encourages the students to do well," said Lorie Scott, a second grade teacher at Witherspoon. "It gives them a drive to want to do their best if they know parents and other people are out supporting them. It makes them want to achieve the best that they can achieve. That's my belief."
This is the second year the MCT II has been administered. It replaced the MCT last year, though it was not used to grade school performances last year. This year, the results will matter as a way to grade the performances of schools in the state.
School officials advise students follow there test taking strategies"
1. Eating breakfast
2. Arriving to school on time each day
3. Getting plenty of rest the night before
4. Reading the questions first on each section