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New Jersey students are required to take a statewide assessment, the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge every year from 3rd grade to 8th grade in the areas of language arts, mathematics and science. The assessments are designed to reflect the standards developed by the New Jersey Department of Education for the content that is expected to be taught in each grade.
At the high school level, the High School Proficient Assessment (HSPA) is given in reading, writing and mathematics. It is designed to assess student learning as based on the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students take this test in the 11th grade. Students who do not pass the test can retake it in March of their junior year and twice during their senior year.
The NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Assessment tests students in the following areas: writing, reading, interpreting text and analyzing text. Questions may be in multiple-choice format or require an open-ended response.
The NJ ASK Mathematics Assessment covers grade appropriate material in the following content categories: numbers, geometry/measurement, algebra/patters, probability/data analysis and mathematical processes. The NJ ASK Science Assessment covers content on: scientific processes, life science, physical science earth and space science, and environment science. On both assessments questions are in both multiple-choice and open-ended formats.
Students taking the NJ ASK series have their scores utilized in a variety of ways; one way is to determine where instructional support may be required. On the Mathematics and Language Arts High School Proficient Assessments (HSPA) students’ scores fall into one of three categories – Advanced Proficient, Proficient and Partially Proficient. Students who score in the Partially Proficient range will need to prove proficiency in order to graduate.