New York State Education Department (NYS) Assessments
Elementary and middle school students in New York State take yearly State tests in core academic subjects to assess their mastery of the Common Core Learning Standards. Students’ test results are one of the factors that schools use to decide whether to promote a student to the next grade. Educators also analyze students’ test results to help determine which instructional standards to focus on, and to evaluate their programs.
TestingMom.com offers a wide variety of materials and games that will help to build the skills tested on the NYC assessments. To view a sample of our practice questions, click the button below:
- English Language Arts (ELA): Students in grades 3-8 take this test in spring.
- Math: Students in grades 3-8 take this test in spring.
- Science: Students in grades 4 and 8 take this test in spring.
Top FAQs Parents Have About the New York State Test
Here are the top 10 questions and answers parents frequently have about the New York State Test for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics:
- Q: What is the purpose of the New York State Test for ELA and Mathematics? A: The test is designed to measure students’ mastery of the Common Core Learning Standards for their grade level. It helps educators understand how well students are learning and whether they’re ready to move on to the next grade level.
- Q: Which grade levels take these tests? A: Students in grades 3 through 8 take the New York State Tests for both ELA and Mathematics every year.
- Q: How is the test structured? A: Both the ELA and Mathematics tests are divided into two parts. The ELA test includes reading passages followed by multiple-choice and short-response questions, as well as an extended-response question. The Mathematics test includes multiple-choice, short-answer, and extended-response questions.
- Q: When are the tests administered? A: The tests are typically given in the spring, with the ELA test usually taking place in late March or early April, and the Mathematics test usually in early May.
- Q: How can my child prepare for the test? A: Regular classroom learning aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards is the best preparation. Additionally, practice tests are available online and can give students a better understanding of the test format and types of questions they will encounter.
- Q: How are the tests scored? A: Each test is scored on a scale of 1-4, with 4 indicating a thorough understanding of the material, and 1 indicating a minimal understanding. These scores help educators and parents identify areas where the student may need extra help.
- Q: When and how will I receive my child’s scores? A: The test scores are usually made available in late summer. Schools will typically send home a printed report, or the scores may be available through a secure online portal.
- Q: Are there any consequences for my child if they do not do well on the test? A: The tests are primarily used to gauge understanding and identify areas for improvement. While the scores can inform decisions about a student’s academic path, they are not used in isolation to determine promotion or placement.
- Q: What accommodations are available for students with disabilities or English language learners? A: Accommodations are available for students with disabilities and English language learners, including extended time, separate locations, and translated editions of the test.
- Q: Can my child opt out of the test? A: Yes, parents have the right to opt their children out of the test. However, it’s important to consider the benefits of the test in understanding your child’s learning progress. If you wish to opt your child out, contact your school’s administration for their specific procedures.
The 2019 tests will be untimed, like the 2018 tests. Students who are still working on their exams will be allowed to continue to work, within the confines of the regular school day, beyond the recommended testing times.
Without time limits, students are able to work at their own pace and not have to worry about the clock while taking the tests. The tests are designed to measure what students know and are able to do, not how quickly they can finish. As long as students are working productively, they will have as much time as they need to complete their tests, within the confines of the regular school day.
How the Tests are Administered
Students take the test on a computer instead of using a pencil and paper. Computer-based tests are tests administered on a computer, tablet, or Chromebook. Computer-based testing (CBT) has the potential to make the assessments stronger instructional tools and will make it possible to get test results back sooner.
This spring, some districts chose to participate in CBT for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests. The computer tests and the paper tests are the same tests.
The State is helping districts transition to CBT and plans to have additional districts utilize CBT for the annual assessments next year.
What the Tests Cover
Every spring, the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests are administered to students across New York State. These annual tests are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with the critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills needed for success in college and the modern workplace. The tests also show how schools and districts are progressing with the learning standards.
Hundreds of New York State educators were involved in creating and reviewing the 2017 assessments. Beginning in fall 2015 and going forward, a greater number of New York State teachers has been—and will continue to be—involved in the review of all test questions and construction of test forms. Teachers from across the State gathered in Albany throughout the summer and fall of 2016 to evaluate and select questions for the 2017 tests. For the first time ever, New York State teachers will write the test questions for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests. These questions were first used on the 2018 tests.