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Standardized Test Prep in New Mexico

Standardized Test Prep in New Mexico
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New Mexico administers summative assessments once a year to see how students are mastering academic standards. Recently, a Student Success Task Force made recommendations for changes to the New Mexico state test system following the elimination of the previous PARCC assessment. Many of these have already been integrated into New Mexico standardized testing, such as the decision to use the College Board’s SAT as the high school assessment standard for math and English language arts. New Mexico also no longer requires End of Course (EoC) exams.

On this page, you will discover information about New Mexico state test types, testing dates, and the grade levels targeted. You’ll also learn how you can help your child prepare for standardized tests in New Mexico.

What State Tests Are Available in New Mexico?

The assessment system in New Mexico encompasses varying methods of evaluating student learning. Summative tests are now designed to align with Common Core standards across the state. The goal of testing in New Mexico, according to the Public Education Department, is to provide “meaningful data about how our students are performing academically and how instruction can be adjusted to meet the needs of all students.”

Below is a breakdown of the different types of tests that New Mexico public school students may encounter.

  • NM-MSSA – The new annual summative assessment for grades 3-8 in the state is the New Mexico’s Measures of Student Success Assessment. It is aligned to the New Mexico Common Core state standards in language arts or reading and math. Schools may choose to offer online or paper versions of the test.
  • NM-ASR – New Mexico’s new assessment of science proficiency, the New Mexico Assessment of Science Readiness, is aligned to the New Mexico STEM Ready! Science Standards. For its first year of use, students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will participate in the assessment. It will be offered via computer in both English and Spanish versions.
  • Dynamic Learning Maps – Students with significant cognitive disabilities as indicated by their IEP may be eligible to take an alternative assessment. The DLM measures proficiency on the Essential Elements for English language arts and mathematics via an untimed test adapted to the student’s abilities.
  • WIDA/Access for ELLs – As part of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, New Mexico uses proficiency standards and assessment for grade K-12 students who are English-language learners, as well as a set of proficiency standards and assessments for Spanish language learners.
  • ISIP – The Istation Indicators of Progress has been selected by the NM Public Education Department as the new K–3 formative assessment in reading. It provides growth information in the five critical domains of early reading: phonemic awareness, alphabetic knowledge and skills, reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • PSAT/SAT – Although not a state test, New Mexico has chosen to fulfill the federal requirement for testing English language arts and mathematics progress via the College Board’s exams. All students in grade 10 will take the PSAT, and all students in grade 11 will take the SAT with Essay at no cost.

If parents choose not to have their child participate in New Mexico standardized testing, they must complete either an Elementary, Middle School, or High School Parental Refusal form and submit it to their child’s school administration office. Paper copies of the forms are available at individual schools.

When is Standardized Testing in New Mexico?

The timing of standardized tests in New Mexico depends on individual exam type. Below is a listing of general testing windows for each exam type.

  • NM-MSSA – between April and May annually
  • NM-ASR – March annually
  • Dynamic Learning Maps – between March and April annually
  • Access for ELLs – between January and March annually
  • ISIP – depends on whether the school uses a traditional or alternative calendar, but usually the first month while school is in session
  • PSAT/SAT – in the Spring annually

Do Homeschoolers Have To Take Standardized Tests in New Mexico?

New Mexico homeschool laws don’t have specific requirements for evaluating student academic progress. However, many families choose to use standardized tests as a way of tracking learning year to year, discovering gaps in retention, or to round out their homeschool portfolio.

Homeschoolers may request that their child(ren) be allowed to participate in state testing with their individual school district, although districts have the right to refuse the request. Private, nationally normed testing options are also an option for families who want to have a benchmark of their child’s progress annually.

How Time4Learning Can Help With New Mexico Test Prep

Time4Learning, an online service that teaches many of the skills that New Mexico students are tested on annually, can be an invaluable partner for parents and students. A subscription to Time4Learning provides full access to a grade level of standards-based, multimedia  math, language arts, science, and social studies curriculum. Concepts are presented using humor, animated lessons, instructional videos, printable worksheets and fun assessments.

Here are just some of the reasons that families choose Time4Learning for New Mexico test prep.

  • Our curriculum contains interactive lessons and tons of practice in Algebra, Geometry, English language arts and more, to help prepare students for PSAT and SAT testing.
  • The fun, multimedia style of the curriculum feels more like a video game, making students more motivated to practice.
  • Time4MathFacts teaches the crucial math facts through gamified lessons as part of the Time4Learning membership. This piece of our main curriculum helps prepares students in elementary school for the math portion of the NM-MSSA.
  • Elementary science, powered by Science4Us, is designed to give students a solid foundation in the science skills and knowledge that they will encounter in standardized tests.
  • Grounded in an extensive base of research-based reading principles, Time4Learning’s reading program helps students develop the proficiency to succeed on tests like the ISIP.
  • Printable reports allow parents to see student progress and test readiness at a glance.
  • Students in grades 3-8 have access to practice assessments that will help them prepare for the New Mexico standardized tests and reduce test anxiety.
  • The fun, multimedia style of the curriculum feels more like a video game, making students more motivated to practice.

Through preparation and practice, your child can achieve successful results on their New Mexico standardized test scores. In addition, skill-building programs like Time4Learning can prepare your child and build their confidence before they walk in the door.

The software is a game changer!

By Regina

“…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.”

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