Standardized Test Taking: What Your Child Should Expect

The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) in mathematics is administered yearly in April and May to all New Jersey Public School students in grades 3-8.

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The purpose of standardized test taking is to measure the level of mathematics proficiency that New Jersey students have achieved by spring of the third through eighth grade. This assessment reflects standards as outlined in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Mathematics. The test assesses students understanding of mathematics in the four large areas of mathematics listed below:

• Number Sense, Operations, and Applications

• Spatial Sense and Geometry

• Data Analysis, Probability, Statistics and Discrete Mathematics

• Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

Each content area above represent one-fourth of the questions on the test. During every school year, students work on questions from each of these sections.

What kinds of questions are on the test?

The test consists of two questions written in two different formats: multiple-choice and open-ended. Open-ended questions require that students write a full solution to the problem so that the scorer can understand how students determined their answer. Students are graded on the correctness of their methods as well as on the accuracy of their answer.

How long is the test?

There are 40 questions on the whole math test, divided among three sections or parts of the test. Each section contains 11 or 12 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions. Students are given 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the entire math portion of the test. This means that students will have 35 minutes to complete each of the three sections. There is also a short break period after each test section.

Where should students write their answers?

A separate answer folder must be used to record students’ multiple-choice responses to each section as well as their written explanations to teach of the open-ended questions. No credit is given for answers which appear in the test booklet itself.

What can students use to help them during the test?

In addition to a ruler and geometric shapes which may be used during the test, a Mathematics Reference Sheet provides formulas and other information which students may find helpful in determining solutions to problems. These items are included with the test.

How should students mark their answer?

For multiple-choice questions, mark only one answer for each question by carefully filling in the corresponding circle on the answer folder. Make sure to darken the circle completely. If a student decides to change their answer, they should make sure to erase their first choice thoroughly. Incomplete erasures may be read as the answer!

Standardized Test Taking Strategies

•Work as quickly as possible without sacrificing accuracy. Do not spend too much time on one question. Remember there may be questions which you cannot answer.

•Use the test booklet itself for scrap paper. Work in the margins or open spaces. NEVER use any part of the ANSWER FOLDER as scrap paper.

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