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State Standards Initiative Test

State Standards Initiative Test

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - October 28th, 2014

state standards initiative

What is the State Standards Initiative Test? A joint effort of the Council of the Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), the Common Core State Standards Initiative test is actually a battery of tests. Designed to help students become better prepared for life after high school, the tests are given at each grade level and strive to achieve a country-wide set of standards by which education can be measured, assessed and improved for the benefit of students.

What is Tested?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative places a great deal of focus on English skills such as reading, writing, comprehension and grammar, since these skills are often noted as being below-average in high school graduates. A broad variety of English skills are tested at each grade level to ensure that every student is progressing at the same (age appropriate) rate.

Up until the fifth grade, a variety of English skills, including fundamentals such as phonics, make up the test battery. Beginning in the sixth grade, students will face new sets of skill tests designed to ensure that they are fully absorbing and understanding the curriculum being taught.

These areas include both fact-based and comprehension-based knowledge in history, math and science. In schools where a difference is noted between the two, social studies is also featured. The questions on each grade’s test will include the subjects studied in regular classes; no special advanced classes are needed in order to pass the tests.

Why are These Tests Different?

A growing concern in the United States is the number of high school students who graduate without some very basic knowledge and skills. English skills are often identified as one of the most poorly-understood fields, with math being another area for improvement. The Common Core State Standards Initiative seeks to level the playing field, ensuring that each graduating high school student possesses a working knowledge of each subject necessary to thrive and succeed in both college and the workforce. Visit for more information on the goals, subjects tested and other specifics regarding the Initiative.

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