Test Preparation for State TestsEdit

by Elizabeth, Jeremy and Michelle


  1. What is this?

Since the Spring of 2003, the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) has been used as the comprehensive, multi-grade assessment program for students in grades 3-8 in compliance with the provisions set forth in the NCLB act of 2001. Along with other indicators of student progress, the results of the elementary-level assessments are intended to be used to identify students who need additional instructional support in order to reach the CCCS. Students are assessed in Language Arts Literacy, Math, and Science content areas.

  1. What materials are available for students practice?

N.J. Department of Education website offers several versions of the test and practice questions that you can go over with your child to make sure that they are comfortable with the format of the test. Sample tests for each grade level.

  1. What preparatory services are available?

Numerous websites that offer practice tests and instructional videos for a fee. Visit Somerset county library system the first to offer online test prep materials for the NJASK


  1. What is this?

The HSPA is a state test given to students in the eleventh grade to measure whether they have gained the knowledge and skills identified in the Core Curiculum Content Standards. Students must pass this as a graduation requirement.

  1. What materials are available for students practice?

sample tests - tons of books

  1. What preparatory services are available?

kaplan test prep somerset learning center



  1. What is this?

GEPA stands for Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment. It is an exam that tests students in the areas of language arts literacy, mathematics and science to determine their proficiency level.

  1. What materials are available for students practice? Barron's New Jersey Language Arts Literacy GEPA Let's Prepare for the NJ Math GEPA

  1. What preparatory services are available?

Maxskill: testing program on the computer

Special AccomidationsEdit

Special education and 504 plan students are permitted accommodations and modifications if specified in their educational plans. students who are receiving special education services must participate in the statewide assessment system. Students must participate in the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge in grades three and four (NJ ASK3, NJ ASK4), the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA), and the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) in each subject area of the age-appropriate assessment with the following exception: "where the nature of the student’s disability is so severe that the student is not receiving instruction in any of the knowledge and skills measured by the general statewide assessment and the student cannot complete any of the types of questions on the assessment in the content area(s) even with accommodations and modifications."

Similarly, Limited-English Proficient students may be tested with one or more accommodations or modifications to the testing procedures.

Special Education Students

Students may be exempt from taking a section of the exaim only if this is spacificaly stated in their individualized education program (IEP). In addition, the academic progress of students with severs disabilities is assessed using the New Jersey Alternate Proficiency Assessment, a portfolio-style assessment. APA students in grades 4, 8, and 11 are assessed in language arts literacy, mathematics, and science.

Special education students requiring accommodations or modifications should be tested using the modified testing procedures specified in their IEP. and approved by the Office of Evaluation and Assessment. For a list of permissible accommodations, please consult the Accommodations and Modifications of Test Administration Procedures. The director of the Office of Evaluation and Assessment, upon written district request, may approve modifications not listed.

504 Plan Students

Students who are eligible for accommodations or modifications under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may not be classified as special education, but have an impairment of a major life function such as performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking etc. Any accommodations or modifications for Section 504 eligible students must be specified in the student’s accommodation plan and must be consistent with the instruction and assessment procedures in the classroom.

Accomodations for Special Ed/ 504 Plan students:

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 team makes decisions about accommodations/modifications. A. Setting Accommodations

Administering the assessment:

individually in a separate room

in a small group in a separate room

in the resource room

in a special education classroom

using carrels

at home or in a hospital (this will depend on the nature of the assessment task)

Seating the student in the front of the room near the examiner or proctor

Seating the student facing the examiner or proctor

Providing special lighting

Providing special furniture (e.g., desks, trays, carrels)

B. Scheduling Accommodations

Adding time as needed

Providing frequent breaks

Terminating a section of the test when a student has indicated that he or she has completed all the items he or she can. The examiner must ensure that the student has attempted all items in a section since items are not ordered by difficulty. When this accommodation is used, the test must be administered in a small group or individually to avoid distraction.

C. Test Materials Modifications

Administering the large-print version of test materials

Administering the Braille version of test materials

Allowing separate additional continuation pages for writing tasks. These pages MUST be properly marked to link them to the correct student for credit.

D. Test Procedures Accommodations/Modifications

Administration accommodations/modifications:

reading directions out loud

reading test questions aloud (you may not read aloud or sign the reading passages in Language Arts Literacy- you may read the reading questions.)

providing and ensuring that amplification (hearing aid and/or FM system) is in working order

using a sign language or cued speech interpreter for administration of directions or questions but not reading passages

masking a portion of the test booklet and/or answer folder to eliminate visual distractors or providing reading windows

repeating, clarifying, or rewording directions

providing written directions on a separate sheet or transparency

using an examiner who is familiar with the student

using an examiner who can communicate fluently in sign language (American Sign Language or a form of Manually Coded English)

providing manipulatives for math items

using graph paper for math section

using a Braille ruler and talking calculator

using tactile or visual cues for deaf or hard of hearing students to indicate time to begin, time remaining, and time to end a particular part of the test Response accommodations/modifications having an examiner record the student’s identifying information on the test booklet or answer folder (see test manuals for specific information)

dictating oral responses to a scribe (person who writes from dictation) -student must indicate all punctuation and must spell all key words

using a Braille writer to record responses

signing responses to sign language interpreter (student must indicate all punctuation and must spell all key words)

recording responses on a word processor (tools, e.g., spelling and grammar tools are not permitted)

using large face calculators (except for non-calculator section)

using talking calculators (except for non-calculator section)

using an Augmentative Communication device

using a larger diameter or modified special grip #2 pencil

masking portions of the test booklet to eliminate visual distractors

marking answers in the test booklet (an examiner will transfer the answers to an answer folder for GEPA/HSPA) Other Considerations

Ensure that:

any medication has been appropriately adjusted so it will not interfere with the student’s functioning.

eyeglasses are used if needed.

hearing aids, FM systems, Augmentative Communication devices, word processors, or other equipment are functioning properly.

source and strength of light are appropriate.

all students can clearly see and hear the examiner.

all deaf or hard of hearing students who communicate aurally/orally are watching the examiner when instructions are given.

responses to open-ended questions, writing tasks, and the writing project which are written or typed on separate sheets of paper by students eligible for this accommodation must be placed into the fluorescent orange envelope provided. Each of these pages must include at the top of the page the student’s name, answer folder number, birth date, district name and code, and school name and code. If these procedures are not followed, the student’s responses cannot be linked to their responses on the other sections of the test and he/she will receive incomplete scores. Copies of these pages should be made and retained on file by the school district until scores are received.

students using the large-print test booklets: mark their answers on the large-print test booklets

may be instructed to skip some questions. The spaces for these questions must be left blank in the students large-print test booklet or answer folder included in the large-print kit.

who dictate responses on open-ended items and writing tasks indicate all punctuation and spell key words. students using Braille test booklets: are instructed to bring a Braille ruler and a talking calculator to the test session.

are instructed to skip some items identified in the Braille instructions. The spaces for these items must be left blank on the student test booklet or answer folder included in the Braille kit;

have answer folders transcribed from Braille version by the examiner.

dictate their answers to the examiner or use a device that produces Braille. For dictations and responses recorded in Braille: Students must indicate all punctuation and must spell all key words.

Examiners must transcribe the Brailled responses into the regular answer folder included in the Braille kit. students who communicate using sign language: Have an interpreter interpret oral directions and test items (but not the reading passages in the Language Arts Literacy sections of the test). The interpreter should be able to communicate in the mode used by the student, American Sign Language or a form of Manually Coded English. The interpreter should be instructed to interpret so as not to give the answer to the student through the use of a particular sign or finger spelling.

Students using American Sign Language for open-ended writing task responses should sign the responses to the interpreter who will interpret them into spoken English and a scribe will record the responses in the test booklet or answer folder.

Students using Signed English or cued speech will sign/cue to the interpreter who will transliterate (word for word) into spoken English and a scribe will record the responses.

Limited-English Proficient

All Limited-English Proficient (LEP) students must take the New Jersey statewide assessments and may be tested with one or more accommodations in the test administration procedure. These accommodations may include:

additional time up to 150% of the administration times indicated;

translation of the test directions only into the student’s native language; and

use of a Bilingual translation dictionary.

Speek with your bilingual/ESL coordinator about your LEP child's accomodations.

All LEP students are required to take the HESPA. If the student should fail part of the test he may take the SRA in that subject area under either of the following conditions:

  1. Was in ESL for two years or less or
  2. attended a US school for three or less consecutive years prior to taking the Hespa.

Starting in the 2003-2004 school year, the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) Special Review Assessment (SRA) Performance Assessment Tasks (PATs) will be available in Spanish, Portuguese and Gujarati. No other New Jersey statewide assessment has a non-English version of the test.


Teacher: "Hello. You must be Mr. Smith. I'm Miss. ... David's English teacher.

Resource Teacher: "and I'm Miss. .. David's resource Teacher."

Teacher: "What would you like to talk to us about?"

Smith: "David said somthing about there being a test that he has to pass in order to graduate, the HSPA I think. What can you tell me about this test?


  1. High School Proficiency Assessment
  2. must pass to graduate
  3. math, language, science, bilogy
  4. exam is given...

Smith: "Are there any resourses that I can use to help David prepare for it?


  1. Free exams
  2. courses
  3. extra time with teachers

Smith: "Are there any accomidations that will be made for David's learning disabilities and can he take the test in his first language, spanish??

Resource Teacher:

  1. Any accomidations on an IEP or ... may be used on the exam. According to David's file.... time+ 1/2 and small group testing
  2. Students are only permitted to take the test is Spanish if ...

Smith: "David sometimes dosen't test well. What happins if he fails the exam?"


  1. may take three times
  2. 2nd exam is given in ...

Resource Teacher: "If David fails a part of the exam he may be required to take ... instead"


Resource Teacher: "Have I answered you question?"

Smith: Yes.

Teacher: Do you have any other questions that we can help you with?

Smith No.

Resource Teacher "If you have any mor questions later feel free to contact eithe Miss. or Myself. Our contact information is on this card."


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