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The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, or NJ ASK, is the Garden State’s formal assessment to ensure students are being taught and internalizing the skills and knowledge required by the state’s curriculum standards.
We at REA believe that a friendly, hands-on overview, targeted subject review, and true-to-format practice tests are the keys to creating a successful testing experience. REA’s NJ ASK books offer these key features:
✓ Clearly identified book activities
✓ Contextual illustrations
✓ Easy-to-follow lessons
✓ Tips for solving problems tailored for the proper grade level
✓ Exercises to sharpen skills
✓ Focused practice
About This Book
Organized practice is itself a prime skill for young students to master, because it helps set the tone for success long into the future as their educational adventure continues. It is REA’s sincere hope that this book—by providing relevant, standards-based practice—can become an integral part of that adventure.
This book was specially written and designed to make test practice easy and successful for you. Our practice tests are very much like the actual NJ ASK tests, and our review is filled with practice questions to help you become familiar with the testing environment and to retain information about key topics.
The NJ ASK and other state assessment tests are designed to give you and your child’s school information about how well the district’s children are achieving in the areas required by New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards. These standards describe what students should know at the end of certain grades. This book will help your child to review and prepare effectively and positively for the NJ ASK Grade 4 Science Assessment.
When 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!
What Is the NJ ASK?
The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge is a standards-based assessment used in New Jersey’s public schools. Performance on the NJ ASK test equates not with the grades students receive for teacher-assigned work but rather with proficiency measures pegged to how well students are acquiring the knowledge and skills outlined in the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.
Those proficiency measures fall into three broad categories or bands: “partially proficient,” “proficient,” and “advanced proficient.”
When Is the NJ ASK Grade 4 Science Test Given?
The test is administered in early spring. Grade 4 students take the NJ ASK Science on day 5 of the testing cycle. The testing lasts 45 minutes. This does not include time to distribute materials, read directions, and take breaks.
Test Format and Scoring of the Grade 4 Test
The NJ ASK Grade 4 Science test contains a total of 44 test items. Forty of these items are multiple-choice, and four more are open-ended questions. Open-ended questions must be completed through written responses. These explanations can include charts and diagrams, but must be supplemented with a written answer. The test is divided into four sections consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question in each section.
Multiple-choice questions should take approximately 1 minute to answer, while the open-ended questions should take about 5 minutes. Multiple-choice questions are scored by machine. The open-ended questions are scored on a scale from 0 thru 3 by specially trained personnel.
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.
The questions on the NJ ASK can contain items and concepts learned in earlier grades. The tests are administered in May; schools and parents receive the score reports over the summer.
Core Curriculum Content Standards in Science
The NJ ASK is not diagnostic, but is instead designed to measure how well students are achieving benchmarks set by the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards. The NJ CCCS determine what students should know and be able to do at certain grade levels. The NJ ASK assesses three Core Curriculum Content Standards in science.
The distribution of standards in the test is as follows:
• Life Science, 40% (Standard 5.5)
• Physical Science, 30% (Standards 5.6, 5.7)
• Earth Science and Astronomy, 30% (Standards 5.8, 5.9)
The standards presented in this book were created by the New Jersey State Department of Education. For more information, visit the department’s website at http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs.
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).
Tips for Test Taking
• Do your homework. From the first assignment of the year, organize the day so there is always time to study and keep up with homework.
• Communicate. If you have any questions, doubts, or concerns about anything relating to school, study, or tests, speak up. This goes for teachers and parents, as well as students.
• Get some rest. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before the test is essential to waking up sharp and focused.
• Eat right. Having a good breakfast—nothing very heavy—the morning of the test is what the body and mind need. Comfortable clothes, plenty of time to get to school, and the confidence of having prepared properly are all any student needs.
• Test smart. Read the questions carefully. Make sure answers are written correctly in the proper place on the answer sheet. Don’t rush, but don’t go too slowly either. If there is time, go back and check questions that you weren’t sure about.
More Information about the NJ ASK
For more information about the NJ ASK, contact the state Department of Education or Measurement, Inc.: www.state.nj.us/education/assessment www.measinc.com/njask
Office of Student Learning Assessments
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500