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Standardized Test Prep in Connecticut

Standardized Test Prep in Connecticut
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Navigating a state department of education website, like Connecticut’s, means sifting through legal references and educational jargon. Even simple questions like, “What standardized tests are required in my state?” may lead to countless links and lengthy reading. Allow Time4Learning to sort out the important stuff and guide you through this maze. We can fill in the blanks.

On this page, discover which Connecticut standardized tests are required, what grade levels can expect to be tested, and when the testing periods are. You’ll also learn the differences between Connecticut state testing  requirements for public school students and homeschoolers.

What State Tests Are Available in Connecticut?

Connecticut requires a number of standardized tests for public school students. Tests range from annual reading and math assessments to some measures of student health with physical education evaluations.

Below are the standardized tests offered in Connecticut:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium – These tests digitally adjust student questions depending on performance in grades 3-8. The summative assessments evaluate skills in English language arts and math. In addition, Smarter Balanced provides accessible online resources and reporting to teachers year-round. Students can also access sample tests through their school district.
  • Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSS) – This test measures basic science knowledge. The NGSS is given to Connecticut public school students in grades 5, 8, and 11.
  • Connecticut Alternate Assessment for Science (CTAS) – The CTAS measures basic science knowledge for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The assessment is given for grades 5, 8, and 11.
  • Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) – is given to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and 11.  Call your local school district for more information.
  • Connecticut LAS Links Placement Tests – This test measures for English language proficiency. The tests are meant for students with a language other than English as their primary language. The assessment help educators decide on where to place students in terms of language skills. Tests are given to students, depending upon need, through grade 12.
  • The Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessment (CPFA) – The CPFA annually assesses the physical well-being of Connecticut public school students. Students are assessed on aerobic endurance, flexibility, upper body strength and endurance, abdominal muscle strength and endurance. Students in grades 4, 6, and 8 are assessed each year. For high school students, the state requires students  are assessed at least once between grades 9-12.
  • Kindergarten Entrance Exams – These exams give an overview of each student’s skills and behaviors at the beginning of kindergarten. The test is divided into the following categories: Language skills, numeracy, physical/motor skills, creative/aesthetic skills, and personal/social skills. The assessment gives educators data for improving kindergarten and other programs.

According to state officials in Connecticut, parents may not opt out of standardized testing. However, many modifications are available to test takers, depending on each child’s Individualized Education Plan.

When is Standardized Testing in Connecticut?

Connecticut standardized tests usually fall in the specific windows mentioned below. However, it is best to double check with your school district to find out the exact dates.

Below is an overview of when Connecticut state testing usually takes place.

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment – Test dates are provided by individual school districts.
  • NGSS – For grade 11, the NGSS test is given within the window of February to June. For grades 5 and 8, the test is scheduled between March and June.
  • CTAS – Varies
  • CTAA – Varies
  • LAS Links Placement Test – Testing is usually done in January and February.
  • CPFA – Varies
  • Kindergarten Entrance Exam – Fall

Do Homeschoolers Have To Take Standardized Tests in Connecticut?

Per Connecticut homeschool laws, homeschoolers aren’t required to take standardized tests. If, however, you’re a homeschooling parent in Connecticut hoping to assess your children’s progress with standardized testing, there are private, nationally-normed testing options to choose from. Some parents use annual tests as benchmarks of homeschool progress as well as tools for recognizing potential academic gaps.  .

If your aim is to send your child back to a traditional school at some point, discuss testing with your local school district. Placement tests may be necessary to determine a grade level. Keep the lines of communication open with your school district and use a homeschool portfolio to track what your homeschooled student studies.

How Time4Learning Can Help With Connecticut Test Prep

Time4Learning can be a valuable partner in helping prepare your child for upcoming standardized tests in Connecticut. Many parents have found that using our curriculum as a supplement to school boosts their student’s confidence and reduces stress.

Here are just some of the ways that Time4Learning can help with Connecticut standardized test prep:

  • Time4Learning has thousands of lessons in math, language arts (including reading and writing), science, and social studies offering  students the opportunity to practice for Connecticut’s Smarter Balanced Assessments. Plus, students may practice as often as needed.
  • Our program includes a game based math fact fluency curriculum that helps students in early elementary school master math facts. This is a crucial skill to ensure success later on.
  • Time4Learning comes with a comprehensive language arts curriculum to help your child with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test. There are dozens of supplemental lessons through our language arts extensions in the parent backend.
  • As an IBCCES Certified Autism Resource, Time4Learning is ideal for students with special needs who need to practice for Connecticut’s assessments.
  • Our science curriculum provides dozens of activities to help students understand scientific methods and think critically about scientific concepts. These skills are key in performing well on the NGSS and CTAS tests.
  • Time4Learning’s award-winning preschool curriculum provides a solid standards-based foundation for kindergarten readiness and the Kindergarten Entrance Exam.

Through preparation and practice, your child can achieve successful results when taking standardized tests in Connecticut. In addition, skill-building programs like Time4Learning can prepare your child and build their confidence before they walk in the door.

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