Environmental Factors Impacting Student Test Performance

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Students are faced with taking assessments throughout their academic career. What types of things impact performance? This lesson gives an overview of various environmental factors and tips on how to make the environment conducive to success.

What Are Environmental Factors?

It's that time again. Students in Ms. Bridges class are preparing for their next assessment. They take all kinds of tests throughout the year, from simple quizzes and end-of-unit tests to district- and state-wide assessments. Ms. Bridges has learned a few things over the years about how to make sure she prepares her classroom environment as carefully as she has prepared her students.

She knows that many environmental factors can have an impact on student performance. Environmental factors are those things in her classroom that can affect students and how well they do on the test. She never thought about these things as a new teacher, but she's been around the block a few times and knows what to do and how to prepare her classroom. Let's take a look.


While it may not seem an important thing to consider, the lighting in the classroom impacts students when testing. Students need to be able to clearly see the work in front of them, but some types of lighting can lead to low student performance, such as inefficient fluorescent lighting. Studies have shown that standard fluorescent lights can result in headaches and low concentration levels.

Ms. Bridges makes sure her classroom is lit with cool white fluorescent lighting. With this type of light, students are able to focus for longer and perform better on tests. When the time of day allows, she also uses natural light, another great source of illumination for her students.

Class Arrangement

Adults put a lot of time and energy into how they arrange furniture in their homes and offices. Think of your own bedroom. Did you put your bed in a place that is relatively dark so you could sleep? Or maybe your desk is situated under a window for natural light. Ms. Bridges thinks of these same things when arranging the desks in her classroom for assessment.

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