Standardized Test Prep in Alabama
Whether you are a homeschool family, or your child attends a traditional school, we as parents, are regularly observing our children daily. We help them when they are falling behind and celebrate all their milestones and accomplishments.
Some parents find standardized testing reassuring as it aids them in assessing their child and pinpointing learning gaps in their child’s education that can be improved on.
Standardized testing varies by state and can change often. If you are a new or an existing resident in the state of Alabama, you may or may not be familiar with state standardized tests. Read on to discover the standardized tests offered in the state of Alabama and how to help prepare your child for their next test.
What State Tests Are Available in Alabama?
All standardized tests in Alabama are based on Common Core Standards. In recent years, Alabama has sought to improve the standardized testing in the state’s public school system. As a result, the state did away with the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT) and the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE). Below are the standardized tests currently offered in the state of Alabama:
- PreACT – This assessment for 10th graders prepares them for the ACT test they will take during their junior and/or senior year in high school. The multiple choice assessment is designed to give students insight into their estimated ACT score as well as provide detailed information and feedback for areas of improvement. The PreACT assesses students’ knowledge in English, math, reading and science.
- ACAP Summative Assessment – These assessments are administered from 2nd-8th grade and test students on English language arts, math, science and social sciences. Scores from second grade are used to measure growth during third grade. Students in grades 4-8 must also take a writing assessment; and during grades 4, 6, and 8, students are tested in science.
- ACAP Alternate Assessment – Instead of taking the ACAP Summative Assessment, some students will take the ACAP Alternative, previously known as the Alabama Alternate Assessment (AAA). This reading and math assessment is administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 10; students in grades 5, 7, and 10 are tested on science as well.
- ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 – The ACCESS assessment is given to students in grades K-12 whose primary language is something other than English. The assessment helps educators assess language proficiency in relation to mastering subject matter in school. When students receive a 4.8 composite score, students no longer receive additional English language services.
- ACT with Writing – All grade 11 students enrolled in Alabama public schools are given the ACT with Writing. The assessment provides a guideline for four-college colleges and universities to assess student applicants. The ACT is meant to help high school guidance counselors in college and career planning for graduating students.
- ACT WorkKeys – In 2015, all Alabama public school students in grade 12 were first given the ACT WorkKeys. This assessment measures work skills according to data from different occupations. The assessment measures the cognitive and non-cognitive skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Testing material includes: Applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. Students are given a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum certificate based on performance.
Over the years, many families have inquired about having their students opt out of Alabama standardized testing. While there is no approved or recognized process for this, parents can discuss their options with their child’s school and/or district.
When is Standardized Testing in Alabama?
Standardized testing dates in Alabama vary depending on the assessment. Keep in mind that although the time of year that testing takes place is usually the same, the dates may not be. This information can help your child prepare for standardized testing in Alabama should you decide to have them take any of the tests listed.
Below is an overview of when Alabama standardized testing is administered.
- ACT WorkKeys; PreACT– Fall
- ACT with writing; ACAP Summative Assessment; ACAP Alternate Assessment- Spring
- ACCESS for ELLs – Starting in January
Do Homeschoolers Have To Take Standardized Tests in Alabama?
Standardized testing is not a homeschooling requirement in Alabama but as stated above, some families may find testing beneficial for their child. If you are considering putting your child back in traditional school, the school district may require your child to take a placement test to determine the best grade level for your student.
How Time4Learning Can Help with Alabama Test Prep
Time4Learning’s online PreK-12th grade curriculum is a great solution in helping prepare your child for standardized tests in Alabama. Here are just some of the ways that Time4Learning can help your child.
- Curriculum includes thousands of lessons in math, language arts (including reading and writing), science, and social studies so students can practice for Alabama’s standardized assessments.
- Our curriculum includes state assessment simulations in grades 3 through 8 which gives students actual practice in what it’s like to take a normed test.
- PreK-12th grade curriculum is perfect for Alabama test prep beginning in kindergarten for ACCESS for ELLS all the way to ACT WorkKeys and everything in between.
- The convenience of no strict schedules allow students to begin preparing for standardized tests at anytime — over the summer, on weekends, etc.
- Ability to redo lessons and retake tests and quizzes help students nail down challenging test subjects and topics.
- Elementary students can prepare for math testing by practicing crucial math facts with Time4MathFacts, included with the Time4Learning membership.
- Interactive, engaging format allows students to have fun as they improve their reading comprehension and math skills which they are tested on when taking the PreACT, ACAP, and more.
- As a IBCCES Certified Autism Resource, Time4Learning is ideal for students with special needs who need to practice for Alabama’s tests for special needs students.
Through preparation and practice, your child can achieve successful results when taking standardized tests in Alabama. In addition, skill-building programs like Time4Learning can prepare your child and build their academic confidence while reducing test anxiety.
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“…she leaped ahead of her peers on her state test when returned to public school, we used it during homebound when there was a mismedication, and use it now as a supplement for a teacher that refuses to teach.”