New Jersey Assessment of Knowledge and Skills
About New Jersey’s Standardized Tests for 3rd Grade – High School
Are your kids preparing for the New Jersey Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, known as NJ ASK? NJ ASK is a statewide assessment program administered in third grade through high school. These New Jersey standardized tests assess language arts literacy, math, and science. The results provide actionable data that will help parents, teachers, and students improve academic performance. NJ ASK tests are also used to determine each school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Time4Learning, an online service that teaches many of the skills that these exams test, offers this page to help you understand the NJ ASK and how you can help your children prepare.
NJ ASK at a Glance
New Jersey students take the following NJ ASK tests:
3rd Grade – 8th Grade
Aligned to New Jersey State Standards, the NJ ASK measures students’ critical thinking skills in the major content areas. Students in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades take level-specific NJ ASK tests in math and language arts literacy, which includes reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. NJ ASK science exams are also given to 4th and 8th graders.
High School NJ ASK
Both 11th and 12th grade students must take the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA, pronounced “HES-pah”) in language arts literacy and math, and must pass in order to graduate. In addition, all New Jersey public high school students, regardless of grade level, who are enrolled in a first-year biology course any time during the school year, must take the End of Course Biology Test. End of Course Algebra I and Algebra II tests are also required for those enrolled.
NJ ASK Scores
NJ ASK exams are criterion-referenced tests, as opposed to norm-referenced tests. Thus, your child will only compete against him or herself, rather than be compared against the group. Students are scored based on their mastery of grade-level Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) and earn one of three performance levels: partially proficient; proficient; or advanced proficient. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level. High school students are required to pass the HSPA in order to graduate. New Jersey also offers the High School Special Review Assessment (SRA), an alternate test that gives students a “second chance” to demonstrate their proficiency, as required for graduation.
Other New Jersey Standardized Tests
The Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) is designed to measure the progress of students with severe disabilities who are unable to participate in the NJ ASK or HSPA. English Language Learners take the ACCESS for ELLs® standards-based test to measure their social and academic proficiency in English. New Jersey also participates annually in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, where a sampling of students (from grades 4, 8, and/or 12) are tested in several content areas as part of a nationally representative assessment of student performance.
Preparing for the NJ ASK
For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page. The real preparation for NJ ASK, or any standardized test, begins with a family’s commitment to ensuring their children receive an excellent education throughout their school years. All families should make special efforts to help their students learn, starting with insisting that students do their homework and read on a daily basis. Many families also use tutors or an online learning program, such as Time4Learning, to build skills. In addition, families use test prep programs or books to help their students become familiar with the test formats and time restrictions, learn test-taking strategies (when to guess, when not to), and practice strategies for different types of questions. For instance, in the case of a reading passage followed by comprehension questions, many test prep programs teach students to scan the questions prior to reading the passage so that students will know what areas of the text require close reading. Time4Learning is not a test prep program, 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 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.
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