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Students in New Mexico are assessed on a statewide basis in core academic subject throughout their education. In grades 3-8 and during high school, students will take Standards Based Assessments that gauge student learning and monitor that students are being taught to the expectations laid out in the New Mexico Content Standards and the Common Core Standards.
For students in grades 3-8 who take the Standards Based Assessment in Reading, Spanish Reading, Mathematics and Science (for grades 4 and 7) the test questions are written in multiple-choice, short-answer and open-ended formats. The majority of questions are multiple-choice. The testing time can take between 2-4 hours depending on the test and the grade.
For high school students, the Standards Based Assessment in Reading, Spanish Reading and Mathematics also ask questions in multiple-choice, short-answer and open-ended formats. The Reading and Spanish Reading Tests are 160 minutes and the Mathematics Tests is 210 minutes. The current version of the Science Test is 135 minutes and uses the same question format, although will not be administered in the 2011-2012 school year. While students will continue taking courses in Social Studies, the Standards Based Assessment for grade 11 in Social Studies is also not being administered in 2011-2012.
Mathematics – The content covered is in numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data analysis. While all questions are asked at grade-appropriate levels and young students are not expected to understand high school level algebra, the processes within these content areas makes up the field of mathematics and how the curricular standards structure the subject.
Reading – Students are expected to be able to use comprehension strategies, use and understand literature and media. Sub-skills that go into developing proficiency in these areas are: gathering and using information, applying critical thinking skills for analysis of information, demonstrating abilities in the reading process, making connections between works and ideas, analyze inferences and analyze themes.
Science – Students will learn about and be assessed on the nature of science, physical and earth science and life science. In Social Studies, the curriculum provides for students to learn and be assessed in local and national history.