Test Guides for English Language Arts and Mathematics

The Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts & Literacy and Mathematics at its July 2010 meeting and incorporated New York-specific additions, creating the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), at its January 2011 meeting.  The adoption of the CCLS signaled the need for educators to shift instruction to prepare students in accordance with these new, rigorous standards.  In order to best assess student learning of the CCLS, the Department developed and administered new Grades 3-8 Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests in 2013.  The spring 2014 Grades 3-8 tests will continue to assess only the CCLS. 

In an effort to provide educators with as much support as possible regarding the instructional and assessment shifts necessitated by the Common Core, the Department has prepared 2014 Test Guides for each subject and grade. 
The Test Guides integrate important instructional and assessment information into a single document and detail how the CCLS in English Language Arts and Mathematics will be measured on the 2014 tests and supplement the other Common Core implementation resources found on EngageNY

The Test Guides for English Language Arts and Mathematics will address the following topics for each grade:

  • the instructional shifts demanded by ELA and Mathematics CCLS;
  • how ELA and Mathematics are conceptualized in the CCLS;
  • the 2014 Common Core ELA and Mathematics Tests’ content and design; and
  • the CCLS rubrics for short and extended constructed response questions.

The Grade 3–8 Common Core English Language Arts Test Guides will introduce several changes that differentiate the 2014 CCLS English Language Arts Tests from past New York State tests.  Some of the important changes discussed in the 2014 English Language Arts Test Guides include:

  • additional information about authentic passages
  • the 2014 ELA tests will be split into 3 books administered across 3 days
  • Day 2 will consist of one book with both multiple-choice and constructed response questions
  • in Grades 5–8, Day 2 will have fewer passages and questions than Day 2 of  the 2013 tests

Similarly, the Grade 3–8 Common Core Mathematics Guides will highlight many ways that the 2014 CCLS Mathematics Tests will be different from past New York State tests.  Some of the important changes discussed in
the 2014 CCLS Mathematics Test Guides include:

  • fewer questions on the 2014 Grades 3–8 Mathematics Tests than the 2013 tests;
  • shorter administration times for the 2014 Grade 3–8 Mathematics Tests than in 2013;
  • clarifications to the Mathematics rubrics and scoring policies; and
  • a change in content emphasis in Grade 8

We hope the Test Guides will assist educators in their efforts to provide high quality instruction of these rigorous learning objectives.  Thank you for all the work you do to support high quality teaching and student achievement.

Created on: 
Friday, December 6, 2013
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