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State Education Department will offer free practice tests to more than 200 Oklahoma schools

BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: September 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012

Some districts already use benchmark tests, but they have to pay for them, McBee said. Those districts may choose to stick with the companies they are using to provide the tests.

For example, Oklahoma City Public Schools buys benchmark practice tests, said George Kimball, chief information officer for the district.

The district uses a testing company that offers a huge database of practice questions for every grade and every subject, Kimball said. Teachers have the option of giving their own mini-tests, as well as the districtwide practice exams.

For now, Kimball said, Oklahoma City Public Schools will stick with its system because it is helpful to students, teachers and the district as a whole.

Benchmark practice exams throughout the year help guide teachers and students along the way until state exams are administered, he said.

“It shows them their progress,” he said. “You're not just sitting here, waiting until April saying, ‘Boy, I hope we do well.' You've got a blueprint to see how they're doing.”