Read an Excerpt
Welcome to an Educational Adventure
The NJ ASK is the Garden State’s answer to the federal No Child Left Behind
Act, which requires that states use standards-based testing to ensure that
students are gaining the skills and knowledge necessary for academic success.
We at REA believe that a friendly, hands-on introduction and preparation for
the test are the means to creating a successful experience. REA’s NJ ASK books
offer these key features:
Clearly identified book activities
Tips for solving problems tailored to each grade level
Exercises to sharpen skills
On the next page you will find information for students, parents, and teachers
regarding the NJ ASK in particular and test-taking in general. Organized
practice with the components of the test will allow students to hone skills that,
in turn, will set the tone for success all along their educational adventures. It is
REA’s hope that this bookby providing relevant, standards-based practice
can become an integral part of that adventure.
What is the NJ ASK?
The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge is a standards-based
assessment. The Grade 4 test was redesigned in 2009 to include more rigorous
and diverse content, and to provide a better sense of whether students are
on track to advance to the next level in their educational journey. Specifically,
performance on the NJ ASK measures how well students have acquired the
knowledge and skills outlined in the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.
Those measures fall into three broad categories, or bands: “partially proficient,”
“proficient,” and “advanced proficient.”
When is the NJ ASK given?
The test is administered in early spring. Grade 4 students take the test on five
mornings, the first two in Language Arts Literacy, the next two mornings in
Mathematics, and the last in Science. Test length spans from 60 to 90 minutes,
depending on the subject.
What is the format of the NJ ASK?
The NJ ASK has two types of questions: multiple choice and open ended. For
multiple choice, students are asked to choose the correct answer from four
choices. For open-ended questions, children answer with written responses in
their own words. Each test section is timed, and students may not proceed to
the next section until time for the current section has expired. If students have
not finished a section when time runs out, they must stop and put down their
pencils. There are clear directions throughout the test.
Understanding the NJ ASK and This Book
This book was specially written and designed to make test practice easy and
rewarding. Our practice tests are very much like the actual NJ ASK tests, and our
review is filled with illustrations, drills, exercises, and practice questions to help
you become familiar with the testing environment and to retain information
about key topics.
The NJ ASK is designed to give schools information about how well students
have acquired the knowledge and skills outlined in the state’s Core Curriculum
Content Standards (CCCS). These standards describe what students should know
and be able to do at the end of each grade. This book will help your child review
and prepare effectively and positively for the NJ ASK in Language Arts Literacy.
The Practice Tests in this book include the number of passages, items, and
prompts that are used to gauge whether students are at, above, or below
proficiency levels. The actual NJ ASK test forms, however, will also contain
content being field tested for use on future tests. Thus, students will likely find
themselves answering more questions than are featured in the Practice Tests at
the end of this book.
The new writing prompts are also based on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 Writing Frameworks as well as the NJ CCCS.
As their teacher, you introduce your students to the test-taking environment
and the demands of the NJ ASK tests. You can use our authoritative book in
your classroom for planned, guided instruction, and practice testing. Effective
preparation means better test scores!
Where can I obtain more information about the NJ ASK?
For more information about the NJ ASK, contact the New Jersey Department of
Education or Measurement Inc.:
Office of Evaluation and Assessment
New Jersey Department of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-05000
For more information on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) Writing Frameworks:
Test Accommodations and Special Situations
Every effort is made to provide a level playing field for students with disabilities
who are taking the NJ ASK. Most students with educational disabilities and most
students whose English language skills are limited take the standard NJ ASK.
Students with disabilities will be working toward achieving the standards at
whatever level is appropriate for them. Supports such as large-print type are
available for students who have a current Individualized Education Program (IEP)
or who have plans required under Section 504 or who use these supports and
accommodations during other classroom testing.
If the IEP team decides that a student will not take the NJ ASK in Language
Arts Literacy, Mathematics, and/or Science, the child will take the Alternate
Proficiency Assessment (APA).