Delaware DSTP Test Prep

Practical Tips on How to Improve Your Child's Performance

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Standardized Tests

Delaware DSTP Test Prep

Standardized Tests in Delaware

About Delaware’s Student Testing Program (DSTP)

If you have a child in elementary, middle or high school in Delaware, 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, Delaware 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 Delaware’s standardized tests and how you can help your children prepare.

In Delaware, students in 2nd through 10th grade take a standards-based test called the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). Standards-based means that test items are based on grade-specific Delaware academic content standards. The DSTP tests students in reading and math in second through tenth grade. Students in 3rd grade also complete a writing test. Students in 4th, 6th, 8th and 11th grade will also take science and social studies tests.

For each of the subject areas tested, students in third through tenth grade are rated at one of the following five levels of proficiency:

  • Distinguished
  • Exceeds the standard
  • Meets the standard
  • Below the standard
  • Well below the standard

Students in second grade are rated at one of three levels:

  • Exceeds the standard
  • Meets the standard
  • Below the standard

How DSTP Scores Are Used
The goal is for all students to meet or exceed the state’s academic standards. According to Delaware state law, schools are required to use DSTP test results to help determine if a student will be promoted to the next grade level or held back.

DSTP scores have other consequences, as well. Students who “exceed the standard” or rate as “distinguished” are eligible for state recognition and scholarships. However, students who receive a “below the standard” rating must follow an Individual Improvement Plan (IIP) the following school year. Those who score “well below the standard” in reading in 3rd, 5th or 8th grade, or in math in eighth grade, must attend a summer instruction program.

For high school students, Delaware awards three types of diplomas: basic, standard and distinguished. The state uses DSTP test results in reading, writing, math, science and social studies to determine which type of diploma students will receive.

What Do the State Assessment Test Scores Mean?

Standardized test scores are an important measure of accountability in Delaware schools. DSTP test scores determine whether schools and school districts are making adequate progress toward academic proficiency. If a school has low DSTP results for two consecutive years, it is eligible for additional financial resources and must submit an improvement plan.

Preparing for Delaware’s DSTP Test

For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page. The real preparation for the DSTP, 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 Delaware’s DSTP, 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!

For more information or resources on Delaware education, visit:
Delaware Department of Education
Delaware Homeschooling Information
Delaware State Parent Forum