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English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core Testing

English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core Testing

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - September 30th, 2013

English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core Testing 

If you have a school-age child, chances are good that you’ve heard of the English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core tests. However, due to the relatively recent development of these tests, many parents are left wondering what precisely the exams cover.

What Testing Achieves 

In the broadest terms, the English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core tests are intended to remedy the issue of students graduating from high school with below-average reading and literacy skills. They strive to ensure that each student is thoroughly prepared for college level classes and their careers, whether they choose to attend college or immediately enter the workforce.

Testing begins in kindergarten and continues on a yearly basis through a student’s senior year of high school. Tests are age and grade-appropriate. Some skills, such as fundamentals of reading, writing and pronunciation are only tested through the fifth grade.

Comprehensive and thorough, the test battery was developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSCO) and the National Governors Association (NGA). Their goal was to ensure that every graduating high school student had the best possible grasp and usage of language, math, science and history to prepare them for life after high school. They also sought to ensure that students living in our current digital age have the proper background to assess, interpret and understand the incredible amount of written material we’re exposed to each day via the internet. Visit to read more about those behind the test and what they hope it will achieve.

What is Tested? 

A large variety of specifics are assessed in the ELA tests. Obviously, a student’s comprehension of the English language is a main focus. Other testing areas such as history, social studies and science are included, but the main focus of these tests also rests on a student’s ability to understand written and spoken information in each respective subject.

In the test’s other core subject areas, literacy is still the main goal. For example, recalling historical dates is much less important than the ability to correctly interpret the tone, intent and other language-based aspects of a piece of text containing historical dates. 

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