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Welcome to an Educational Adventure
The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, or NJ ASK, is required of students in Grades 3 through 8 to fulfill the obligations of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. This act mandates that all states use a standards-based testing system to ensure that students are mastering the skills and acquiring the knowledge they need to be successful.
At REA, we believe that the testing process should be as stress-free as possible. We provide a friendly, easy-to-understand approach to prepare the student for a successful testing experience. REA’s NJ ASK books offer these key features:
✓ Clearly identified book activities
✓ Contextual illustrations
✓ Easy-to-follow lessons
✓ Step-by-step examples
✓ Tips for solving problems tailored for the proper grade level
✓ Exercises to sharpen skills
✓ Real practice
The following is helpful information for students, parents, and teachers concerning the NJ ASK and test-taking in general. This book, which provides complete preparation for the Grade 5 math test, is created in an organized sequence to assist students with their understanding of the topics. It is REA’s sincere hope that this book—by providing relevant, standards-based practice—can be a key element in your educational adventure this year.
What Is the NJ ASK?
The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge is a standards-based assessment given to all students in New Jersey’s public schools in Grades 3 through 8. Performance on the NJ ASK does not measure the students’ day-to-day work; instead, the assessment measures how well students acquired knowledge over the course of the year, as well as students’ proficiency with the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards. The NJ ASK proficiency measures fall into three broad categories, or bands: partially proficient; proficient; and advanced proficient.
When Is the NJ ASK Given?
The NJ ASK is usually administered in early May. Grade 5 students take the NJ ASK Mathematics over the course of two days. Testing on Day One and Day Two is 68 minutes long, totaling 138 minutes. This does not include time to distribute materials, read directions, and take scheduled breaks.
Test Format and Scoring of the Grade 5 Test
The NJ ASK Grade 5 Mathematics test contains a total of 44 test items. Thirty-three of these items are multiple-choice, eight are short constructed-response and three are extended constructed-response problems. The students are permitted to use calculators on three parts of the mathematics test. The test is divided into four sections consisting of 10 multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question in each section.
With multiple-choice, students are asked to choose the correct answer out of four answer choices. The short constructed-response questions require short answers with no explanation. The extended constructed-response requires the students to show all work and provide a thorough explanation of how they arrive at their answers. Each test section is timed, and students may not proceed to the next section until time for the current section has expired.
If the students have not finished a section when times runs out, they must stop and put down their pencils. The test proctor provides 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 so that schools and parents receive the reports of the student’s progress by September of the next school year.
Understanding the NJ ASK and This Book
This book was written and designed to make each lesson easy to understand and make practice as successful as possible. Our practice tests are much like the actual NJ ASK test, and our review is filled with illustrations, drills, exercises, helpful hints, and practice questions to familiarize you with the testing environment and prepare you to master key topics.
The NJ ASK and other state assessment tests have been designed to provide you and the school information about how well your children are achieving in the areas outlined in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, which is a detailed explanation of what students should know at the close of each grade level. This book helps your children review the key concepts and prepare effectively for the NJ ASK in Mathematics.
When you introduce your students to the test-taking environment and the demands of the NJ ASK tests, you can use our book in your classroom for guided instruction, reinforcement, and practice testing.
Where Can I Obtain More Information about the NJ ASK?
For more information about the NJ ASK, contact the State Department of Education (www.state.nj.us/education/assessment) or Measurement, Inc. (www.measinc.com/njask).
Office of Evaluation and Assessment
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08635-0500
For more information on the National Assessment of Educational Process and the (NAEP) Mathematics Frameworks, visit http://nagb.org/publications/frameworks.htm.
Test Accommodations and Special Situations
Every effort is made to create an optimum testing environment for students with disabilities who are taking the NJ ASK. Most students with educational disabilities and students with limited English take the standard NJ ASK.
Students with disabilities will be working toward achieving the standard at whatever level is appropriate for them. There are several supports that are often provided ranging from large-print books to a small group testing environment for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or who require accommodations under a Section 504.
If the IEP team decides that a student will not take the NJ ASK in Language Arts Literacy, Mathematics, or Science, the student will take the Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA).
Tips for Test-Taking
• Do your homework. Homework should be made a priority from the beginning of the school year. Think of each assignment as a reinforcement of what you learned in class that day.
• Communicate. If you have questions, doubts, nerves, or any concerns at all relating to school, studying, or tests, talk to your parents or teachers. Your parents and teachers cannot read your mind, so make sure you let them know if you are experiencing difficulty.
• Get some rest. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to be a successful student but especially the night before tests. With a good night’s sleep, you wake up rested and ready to do your best work.
• Eat right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets your body ready for the work you will do all day. Have a nutritious breakfast the morning of the test, but avoid anything heavy. You should also dress comfortably and leave yourself plenty of time to get to school so you can arrive in time to prepare everything you need for the day.
• Test smart. Read each question carefully. Make sure your answers are filled in completely and that your work is neat and organized. Don’t rush, but don’t go too slowly. If there is time, you can always go back and check the answers in that section that you were unsure about.
Core Curriculum Content Standards in Mathematics
The NJ ASK is not a diagnostic test, but rather is designed to measure how well the students are mastering the skills presented at each grade level. The NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards determine what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
The distribution of standards in the test is as follows:
• 18 points on the NJ ASK 5 assess Number and Numerical Operations (Standard 1)
• 16 of the points on the NJ ASK 5 assess Geometry and Measurement (Standard 2)
• 8 of the points on the NJ ASK 5 assess Patterns and Algebra (Standard 3)
• 8 of the points on the NJ ASK 5 assess Data Analysis, Probability, and Discrete Mathematics (Standard 4)
Open-ended questions are scored by trained personnel. Each standard of the NJ CCCS has strands and Cumulative Progress Indicators (CPIs). All strands are tested on the NJ ASK, but not all CPIs are.
For information about the CPIs, access www.nj.gov/njded/frameworks/math.
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