Standardized Tests in Arizona
Overview of Arizona’s Assessment Program
Do you have a child in elementary, middle or high school in Arizona? Then you need to know about Arizona’s assessment program and the standardized tests your child will be taking. To comply with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Arizona administers standardized tests to students beginning in 2nd grade through high school.
Time4Learning, an online education service that teaches many of the skills these exams test, offers this page to help you understand Arizona’s standardized tests and how you can help your children prepare.
Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) Test
Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) Test is a standards-based test. It measures how well students in Arizona learn reading, writing, math and science skills as defined by the state’s academic standards at each grade level.
For students in 3rd grade through 8th grade, the AIMS contains both AIMS items, which are based on grade-specific AZ content standards and Stanford 10 items. The Stanford 10 is a national norm-referenced test, i.e., it compares students to their peers nationwide.
Students in third through eighth grades are tested in reading (including Stanford 10 reading and language items) and math (including Stanford 10 math items).
Students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade also take a writing test, while 4th grade and 8th grade students take a science test.
For each of the subject areas tested, students are rated at one of the following four levels:
- Exceeds the standard
- Meets the standard
- Approaches the standard
- Falls far below the standard
AIMS test scores do not determine if a student will be promoted to the next grade or held back. However, if students do not meet or exceed the standard, they may qualify for free tutoring.
For Arizona AIMS support materials, including AIMS student guides, AIMS sample tests, AIMS writing, and AIMS released items, visit Arizona Department of Education.
In high school, the AIMS is administered in the spring to 10th grade students and includes tests in reading, writing, mathematics and science. If a student does not pass the AIMS test in tenth grade, or he wants to improve his score from “meets standards” to “exceeds standards,” he can take it again in 11th grade and in 12th grade if necessary.
Students must pass the reading, writing and math tests to graduate. The science test is not required for graduation, and students who retake the test in eleventh or twelfth grade will not be tested again in science. In addition, students who do not pass the AIMS HS test may be able to use course grades to supplement their test scores so they can graduate.
Students in 2nd grade and 9th grade will take the Stanford 10 test by itself. Unlike the AIMS, which is a standards-based test, the Stanford 10 is a norm-referenced test. Based on a percentile rank, the Stanford 10 measures how students in Arizona compare with students nationally in reading, language arts and mathematics. Students in second and ninth grade take the Stanford 10 by itself, while students in third through eighth grades take a combination of the AIMS and Stanford 10.
What Do the State Assessment Test Scores Mean?
Arizona uses AIMS test scores, improvement of those scores over time and other measures to assign schools a rating under its AZ LEARNS Achievement Profile system. Based on a point system, schools are rated as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, or Underperforming. Schools rated as underperforming for three years in a row may be taken over by the state.
Preparing for Arizona’s AIMS and Stanford 10 Tests
For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page. The real preparation for AIMS tests, and all standardized tests that assess a wide range of fundamental skills, is to steadily build and master skills in math, reading and writing fundamentals.
Parents can help students succeed in school by making a special effort to get involved in their children’s education. You should ensure your children are doing their homework every night and reading and writing on a daily basis. In addition, families can hire tutors or use online learning programs such as Time4Learning and Time4Writing to supplement their children’s schoolwork and help to build fundamental skills.
To help your children prepare for state standardized tests such as Arizona’s AIMS test, you can enroll your children in a test prep program or buy books to help them become familiar with test formats and terminology, to learn test-taking strategies (when to guess, when not to), to become comfortable with time restrictions, and to practice answering different types of questions.
For instance, when a reading passage is followed by comprehension questions, many test prep programs teach students to scan the questions prior to reading the passage so that they can pay special attention to the areas addressed by questions.
Most states release copies of tests or sample test questions from previous years. Parents can use these released test questions as resources to help students practice test skills and students can spend the majority of their time reviewing the key concepts within the sample test questions.
Time4Learning is not a test prep program; instead, it is a program that builds the skills that will be tested.
Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today’s technology. It’s a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games.
The online language arts and math curriculum comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided as a free bonus for most grades.
Kids like using the computer to learn and to develop their skills. Time4Learning’s educational teaching games give students independence as they progress at their own pace.
Parents like that it tracks progress and helps kids advance by teaching through individualized learning paths that assure mastery of the skills and concepts that makes kids succeed.
Have a child with math and reading skills at different grade levels? No problem, just tell us in the online registration process.
Time4Learning is proven effective, has a low monthly price, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can be sure that it works for your family, risk free!