In November 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted a new statewide achievement test, AzMERIT, for Arizona students. AzMERIT was first administered in spring 2015 to students in grades 3 through 12. AzMerit will provide students, parents, and educators with information about areas of academic strength and weakness, and will measure student achievement toward meeting the Arizona education standards. In addition to being required by state law, these tests can be good measures of learning that is occurring throughout our state, district, and school, as well as in each classroom and with each student.
As you likely know, Arizona-produced AzMERIT tests have replaced most of the previous AIMS tests. These tests assess students’ mastery of Arizona’s challenging Career and College Readiness Standards. Additional information, including Sample Tests, can be found at http://www.azed.gov/assessment/azmerit/.
- AzMERIT tests are taken online, in testing sessions of about 1-2 hours each. Writing can take longer.
- All G3 and G4 students will take a writing test, a reading test, and a math test. (In addition, 4th graders will continue to take the AIMS Science test in a paper format.)
- The format of AzMERIT tests is more challenging, going well beyond a traditional multiple choice format. Tests feature short answer, drop and drag, and requirements to explain thinking.
- With the challenging new format, and with more rigorous standards, scaled scores across the state on AzMERIT tests released these past two years have not been comparable to previous AIMS tests.
As a part of our rigorous daily learning, students and teachers have been preparing all year to do their best on these tests. We want to make sure we have optimal conditions for students on test days. Here at school, we will minimize distractions and optimize your child’s test schedule. We will also provide healthy snacks and a quiet environment for test takers. Teachers will plan for reduced homework prior to test days.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD PREPARE:
- Please make sure your child is here at school on scheduled test days. We can administer make-up tests in case of illness, but this is difficult and disruptive. Please do not schedule vacations or appointments on test days. Students who arrive to school late on testing dates will not be allowed into class until testing has finished and they will make-up their test at a later time.
- Please be sure your child gets a good night’s sleep before each test day. This can have a major positive impact on their ability to “show what they know.”
Please be sure that your child eats a healthy breakfast, and has a positive, calm morning on test days.