Standardized Tests in Colorado
About Colorado’s Student Assessment Program (CSAP)
If you have a child in elementary, middle or high school in Colorado, then you need to know about the standardized tests your child will be taking. To comply with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, Colorado administers standardized tests to students beginning in 3rd 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 Colorado’s standardized tests and how you can help your children prepare.
In Colorado, students in 3rd through 10th grade take a standards-based test called the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP). Standards-based means that test items are based on grade-specific Colorado academic content standards. The CSAP tests students in reading, writing and math in third grade through tenth grade. Students in 5th, 8th and 10th grade also take a science test. Students with significant cognitive difficulties take an alternate version of the test, or the Colorado Student Assessment Program-Alternate (CSAP-A).
For each of the subject areas tested, students are rated at one of the following four levels of proficiency:
- Partially Proficient
The goal is for all students to perform at the proficient or advanced level. Some school districts in Colorado may use CSAP test results to determine whether a student is promoted from one grade to the next.
CSAP scores are particularly important in 3rd grade. According to the Colorado Basic Literacy Act, CSAP scores are used to determine the literacy of students in third grade. Students who score “partially proficient” or “unsatisfactory” in reading may either be held back in reading instruction or be required to follow an individualized literacy plan.
Other Colorado Standardized Tests
Students in the 11th grade are required to take the American College Test (ACT), a college entrance exam, although Colorado has not set any pass/fail standards for the test. The ACT score will appear on a student’s transcript, but achieving a certain score on the test is not required to graduate.
What Do the Standardized Test Scores Mean?
Standardized test scores are an important measure of accountability in Colorado schools. The state uses CSAP and ACT test results to rate schools. Schools rated as “excellent” are eligible for additional funds, while underperforming schools receive assistance in the form of a School Improvement Plan. If they are still underperforming after three years, they will be converted to charter schools.
Preparing for Colorado’s CSAP Test
For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page. The real preparation for the CSAP, 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 Colorado’s CSAP, 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!