Test Guides for English Language Arts and Mathematics
The Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) were adopted by the New York State Board of Regents in June 2010 and approved in January 2011 for all schools and districts that serve students enrolled in Grades K–12. 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 has developed new Grade 3-8 Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests. These new tests will be administered beginning in the spring 2013 and assess only CCLS.
In the past, the Department has released one Test Guide in mid-winter, which was focused primarily on test administration. 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 2013 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 2013 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;
- How the 2013 Common Core ELA and Mathematics Tests differ from previous New York State Tests;
- The 2013 Common Core ELA and Mathematics Test content and design; and
- The new 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 2013 CCLS English Language Arts Tests from past New York State Tests. Some of the important changes discussed in the Test Guides include:
- Speaking and Listening will no longer be assessed;
- All text passages will be authentic and worthwhile to read;
- Some text passages may express opinions with which the reader may disagree;
- Text passages may be longer and more rigorous than on past tests;
- ELA Tests will be split into 4 books administered across 3 days;
- Grade 3 and 4 Tests will have a shorter maximum testing time to complete than in previous years; and
- New CCLS rubrics will be used for scoring short and extended response questions.
Similarly, the Grade 3-8 Common Core Mathematics Guides will highlight many ways that the 2013 CCLS Mathematics tests will be different from past New York State Mathematics tests. Some of the important changes discussed in the Test Guides include:
- Mathematics Content emphases and Standard-level emphases (e.g. not all standards are recommended to receive the same amount of instructional time);
- Mathematics questions may assess multiple-standards simultaneously;
- Grade 3 and 4 Tests will have a shorter maximum testing time to complete than in the previous years;
- Revised Guidance on Mathematics Tools and Reference Sheets; and
- Calculators will not be allowed in Book 1 of the Grade 6-8 Mathematics Tests. Calculators will be required in Books 2 and 3.
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.
Test Guides Change Log:
- Version 1 (Posted 11/20/12)
- Version 2 (Posted 11/21/12)
New EngageNY logo inserted in all test guides and link to ELA Appendix B corrected in ELA test guides.
- Version 3 (Posted 11/28/12)
Text removed from page ii in all test guides related to the availability of printed publications. The text removed was: "Requests for additional copies of this publication may be made by contacting the Publications Sales Desk, Room 309, Education Building, Albany, NY 12234."
- Version 4 (Posted 3/14/13)
- Changes to ELA Test Guides:
- A foreword that introduces CCLS ELA, the new tests and the Guides that highlights the major changes through the language/structureof the new Field Transition Memo
- An explanation that using authentic passages means that it is entirely possible that passages on the Test may have been usedin classrooms or for student personal reading.
- An explanation that entire works can be divided into passages that are appropriate for multiple grade levels.
- Further clarification that MC questions, including vocabulary, require comprehension of the entire passage.
- Further clarification that short-response questions require both a claim and evidence in support of that claim.
- Changes to Mathematics Test Guides:
- A foreword which introduces the Tests and Guides through the language of the new Field Transition Memo
- Clarification that students will need to choose their own tools and that the symbols found on past tests that signaled tool use will not be included
- Changes to ELA Test Guides: