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Ontario students allowed to use headphones, online calculators during EQAO test

The EQAO says its making the rule changes after consultations with educators in order to better reflect regular assessment environments in classrooms. Getty Images

TORONTO – Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office says students taking standardized tests this year will be able to wear headphones, access some online calculators and language resources.

EQAO chief assessment officer Steven Reid says the agency is making the rule changes after consultations with educators in order to better reflect regular assessment environments in classrooms.

READ MORE: Ontario elementary school math scores down slightly in EQAO testing

The new rules say students taking the tests will be able wear headphones and listen to music or white noise.

Students will also be able to access the Internet for some online instructional tools like translators and calculators through online apps.

READ MORE: Ontario human rights commission says people with disabilities face significant barriers in education

The agency says teachers will also now be able to leave classroom displays and student work up, removing only material which is “instructional in nature” during testing.

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Standardized testing results released in August show that math scores among public elementary students have been decreasing over the last five years, indicating government efforts to reverse the trend have not worked.

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