North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests for Grades 3-8 (page 2)
Grades 3, 4, and 5
During the final three weeks of the school year, your child took the state-required multiple-choice North Carolina End-of- Grade Tests in Reading and Mathematics. The end-of-grade tests are administered to students at grades 3–8 as part of the statewide assessment program. These curriculum-based achievement tests are specifically aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and include a variety of strategies to measure the achievement of North Carolina students. Student scores in reading and mathematics from the end-of-grade tests are used for computing school growth and performance composites as required by the state-mandated ABCs Accountability Program and for determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) under Title I mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Student scores are also used in determining student progress and proficiency under state-mandated Student Accountability Standards at grades 3, 5, and 8. Test scores are among the many ways to find out how well your child is doing in school. Test scores allow you to compare your child’s performance with that of other students in the same grade at the school and with other students across North Carolina. However, test scores should always be considered along with all other available information provided about your child. Scores on these tests are only one of the many indicators of how well your child is achieving.
Key Features of the Reading Comprehension Test
- Reading and vocabulary skills are assessed by having students read selections and then answer questions related to the selections.
- The selections on the test are reading materials chosen to reflect the variety of actual reading done by students in and out of the classroom.
- Selections include both literary and informational texts. Literary texts include fiction, poetry, drama, and literary nonfiction such as biographies, letters, journals, and essays. Informational
- Trv texts include content areas (art, science, mathematics, social studies, etc.) and consumer/practical selections (pamphlets, reviews, recipes, how-to, etc.).
- Eight selections are included on each test; there are 50 questions on each test at grades 3–5.
- Four categories of items are on the reading test. The categories include cognition, interpretation, critical stance, and connections.
- Cognition requires the reader to apply such strategies as using context clues to determine meaning, summarizing to include main points, and identifying the purpose of text features. The average number of questions on the reading comprehension test that measures cognition is 18.
- Interpretation requires the reader to make inferences and generalizations. Students may be asked to clarify, to explain the significance of, to extend, and/or to adapt ideas/concepts. The average number of questions on the reading comprehension test that measures interpretation is 19.
- Critical stance requires the reader to apply processes, such as comparing/contrasting and understanding the impact of literary elements. The average number of questions on the reading comprehension test that measures critical stance is 10.
- Connections require the reader to connect knowledge from the selection with other information and experiences beyond/outside the selection. The average number of questions on the reading comprehension test that measures connections is 3.
- The reading comprehension test is timed. The estimated time for students at grades 3–5 to complete the reading comprehension test is 115 minutes.
Key Features of the Mathematics Test
- The mathematics test assesses student achievement in the five strands of the mathematics curriculum: (1) Number and
- Operations, (2) Measurement, (3) Geometry, (4) Data Analysis and Probability, and (5) Algebra.
- Some of the mathematics items at grades 3–5 are field test items. The field test items do not count toward or against the student’s score.
- The 82-item test (including field test items) is administered in two parts: Calculator Active (54 questions) and Calculator Inactive (28 questions).
- Students are allowed to use calculators during the Calculator Active part (66%) of the test. Students are not allowed to use calculators during the Calculator Inactive part (34%) of the test.
- The minimum (“at least”) calculator requirement for grades 3–5 is a four-function calculator with
- memory key.
- For both parts of the mathematics test, students at grades 3, 4, and 5 are given blank paper and graph
- paper. Rulers and protractors are not distributed to students.
- The mathematics tests may be administered on one school day or two consecutive days.
- The mathematics tests are not timed. Students are to be allowed ample opportunity to complete the tests. As long as students are engaged and working, they must be allowed time to complete the mathematics test. The estimated time for 95% of students at grades 3, 4, and 5 to complete the mathematics calculator active test is 135 minutes. The estimated time for students to complete the mathematics calculator inactive test is 60 minutes.
How Can I Help My Child with Mathematics?
- “Do math” with your child at home as problem-solving partners. Use word problems. Have your child explain how he or she is solving the problems.
- Make a list of all the ways your family uses mathematics at home:
- Newspapers and weather reports include charts, graphs, data, and statistics.
- Sporting events provide data and statistics.
- The grocery store affords an opportunity for practicing measurement and estimation.
- Recipes can be modified.
- The changing seasons give an opportunity to examine temperature.
- Road trips encourage map reading and distance, time, and gasoline mileage problems.
- By “doing math” together, you will demonstrate that learning mathematics is fun.
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