NJ ASK8 Language Arts Literacy with TestWare


NJ ASK Grade 8 Language Arts Literacy with Timed Exams on CD
Completely aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

REA helps Grade 8 students get ready for the NJ ASK Grade 8 Language Arts Literacy exam!

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NJ ASK Grade 8 Language Arts Literacy with Timed Exams on CD
Completely aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

REA helps Grade 8 students get ready for the NJ ASK Grade 8 Language Arts Literacy exam!

Our practice and review for NJ ASK Grade 8 Reading & Writing includes:

  • Pretest and Posttest measure learning and progress
  • Lessons build skills for writing and reading
  • Color icons highlight key concepts, questions, tasks, and more
  • Confidence-building tips reduce test anxiety and boost test-day readiness
  • Appendix provides practice in speaking, listening, and viewing
  • CD includes diagnostic pretest and a full-length practice exam with automatic scoring, timed testing conditions, and detailed on-screen explanations of answers
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738608785
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 11/28/2010
  • Series: New Jersey ASK Test Preparation
  • Edition description: Third
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 14 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Read an Excerpt


This book, along with REA’s exclusive TestWare® software, provides excellent preparation for the
New Jersey ASK8 Language Arts Literacy Assessment. Inside you will find lessons, drills, strategies,
and test practice—all of it with a single-minded focus: success on the NJ ASK8, an acronym that stands for Assessment of Skills and Knowledge.

We have also made every effort to make the book easy to read and navigate. The practice tests are
included in two formats: in this book and on CD.

The book is divided into several parts. The first section is a PRETEST, which is half the length of
an actual ASK8 test and introduces students to some of the key sections on the actual test:

• Explanatory writing prompt
• Informational reading passage
• Narrative reading passage
• Persuasive writing prompt

We recommend that you begin your preparation by first taking the practice exams on your
computer. The software provides timed conditions and instantaneous, accurate scoring that makes it
easier to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.

Following the pretest are two lesson sections:

Part 1 teaches students about the different types of ASK8 questions and skills on the reading
portion of the test;

Part 2 instructs students on the writing, revising, and viewing portions of the test;

Finally, a full-length POSTTEST appears at the end of the book and on the TestWare® CD.

At this time, speaking, listening, and viewing are not part of the NJ ASK 8 LAL test. The classroom
teacher assesses these skills. However, because these skills are vital to a full curriculum, we provide
a special supplementary section on them to be used where needed by the student.


FOR STUDENTS: To make getting through the book as easy as possible, we’ve included icons
shown on the next page that highlight sections like lessons, questions, and answers. You’ll find that our
practice tests are very much like the actual ASK8 you’ll encounter on test day.
The best way to prepare for a test is to read over the test information and study tips. Take the pretest on CD-ROM to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and then study the course review material, focusing on your specific problem areas. The course review includes the information you need to know when taking the test.

Make sure to follow up your diagnostic work by taking the Posttest on CD-ROM to become familiar
with the format and feel of the NJ ASK8 Language Arts Literacy Assessment.

FOR PARENTS: New Jersey has created grade-appropriate standards for English language arts
and has listed them in clusters, which are explained below. Students need to meet these standards as
measured by the ASK8. Our book will help your child review the ASK8 and prepare for the Language Arts Literacy exam. It includes review sections, drills, and two practice tests complete with explanations to help your child focus on the areas he or she needs to work on to help master the test.

FOR TEACHERS: No doubt, you are already familiar with the ASK8 and its format. Begin
by assigning students the pretest. An answer key and detailed explanations follow the pretest. Then
work through each of the lessons in succession. When students have completed the subject review, they should move on to the posttest. Answers and answer explanations follow the posttest.

In 1996 the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted Core Curriculum Content Standards that
define New Jersey’s expectations for student learning. The board updated the Language Arts Literacy
standards in 2004, 2007, and again in 2009. The latest version of the Common Core State Standards was adopted as of June 20, 2010. To determine how well a student is advancing and whether the student is on course to perform well in high school, eighth grade students are required to take the ASK8.

It is one of the key tools used to identify students who need additional instruction to master the
knowledge and skills detailed in the Core Curriculum, the standards that guide education in New Jersey.

The NJ ASK is composed of a reading section and a writing section. The reading cluster of the test
has students read four passages that are either narrative or informational in content. They then respond
to related multiple-choice questions and constructed-response items.

The writing section contains one persuasive prompt and either one explanatory prompt or one
speculative prompt. The persuasive prompt asks for the student’s point of view or opinion about a given controversy. The explanatory and speculative prompts present students with a springboard topic from which to write a composition.

There are plenty of things students can do before and during the actual test to improve their test-taking
performance. The good thing is that most of the tips described below are easy!

Preparing for the Test

Test Anxiety
Do you get nervous when your teacher talks about taking a test? A certain amount of anxiety is
normal, and it actually may help you prepare better for the test by getting you motivated. Nonetheless,
too much anxiety is a bad thing and may keep you from properly focusing. Here are some things to
consider that may help relieve test anxiety:

• Share how you are feeling with your parents and your teachers. They may have ways of
helping you deal with your concerns.

• Keep on top of your game. Are you behind in your homework and class assignments? A lot
of your classwork-related anxiety and stress will simply go away if you keep up with your
homework assignments and classwork. And then you can focus on the test with a clearer

• Relax. Take a deep breath or two. You should do this especially if you get anxious while
taking the test.

Study Tips and Taking the Test

• Learn the test’s format. Don’t be surprised. By taking a practice test ahead of time you’ll
know what the test looks like, how much time you will have, how many questions there are,
and what kinds of questions are going to appear on the actual exam. Knowing ahead of time
is much better than being surprised.

• Read the entire question. Pay attention to what kind of answer a question or word problem
is looking for. Reread the question if it does not make sense to you, and try to note the parts
of the question needed for figuring out the right answer.

• Read all the answers. On a multiple-choice test, the last answer could also be the right
answer. You won’t know unless you read all the possible answers to a question.

• It’s not a guessing game. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t make an
uneducated guess. And don’t randomly pick just any answer, either. As you read over each
possible answer to a question, note any answers that are obviously wrong, then select one
of the remaining answers. Each obviously wrong answer you identify and eliminate greatly
improves your chances at selecting the right answer.

• Don’t get stuck on questions. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. Doing this
takes away time from the other questions. Work on the easier questions first. Skip the really
hard questions and come back to them if there is still enough time.

• Accuracy counts. Make sure you record your answer in the correct space on your answer
sheet. Fixing mistakes later wastes valuable time.

• Finished early? Use this time wisely and double-check your answers.

The night before. Getting a good night’s rest keeps your mind sharp and focused for the test.

The morning of the test. Have a good breakfast. Dress in comfortable clothes. Keep in mind that
you don’t want to be too hot or too cold while taking the test. Get to school on time. Give yourself time to gather your thoughts and calm down before the test begins.

Three Steps for Taking the Test
1. READ. Read the entire question and then read all the possible answers.
2. ANSWER. Answer the easier questions first and then go back to the more difficult questions.
3. DOUBLE-CHECK. Go back and check your work if time permits.

• Encourage your child to take responsibility for homework and class assignments. Help your
child create a study schedule. Mark the test’s date on a family calendar as a reminder for
both of you.

• Talk to your child’s teachers. Ask them for progress reports on an ongoing basis.

• Commend your child’s study and test successes. Praise your child for successfully following
a study schedule, for doing homework, and for any work done well.

• Attack test anxiety head-on. Your child may experience nervousness or anxiety about the
test. You may even be anxious, too.
Here are some helpful tips on dealing with a child’s test anxiety:

• Talk about the test openly and positively with your child. An ongoing dialogue can not
only relieve your child’s anxieties but also serve as a progress report of how your child
feels about the test. When talking together, make sure your child understands what areas
he or she is going to be tested on.

• Form realistic expectations of your child’s testing abilities.

• Be a “test cheerleader.” Your encouragement to do his or her best on the test can alleviate
your child’s test anxiety.

• Have your child use the last days before the test to review all tested subject areas.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About this Book and TestWare® 
How to Use this Book and TestWare® 
Why Students Are Required to Take the ASK8 
What’s on the ASK8 
NJ ASK LAL Design: Grade 8 
ASK8 Language Arts Literacy Clusters 
Preparing for the Test 
Sound Advice for Test Day 
Tips for Parents 


Lesson 1: Recognition of a Theme or Central Idea
Lesson 2: Paraphrasing/Retelling and Making Tentative Predictions of Meaning
Lesson 3: Recognition of Text Organization and Purpose for Reading, Extrapolation of Information/Following Directions
Lesson 4: Making Judgments, Forming Opinions, and Drawing Conclusions
Lesson 5: Interpretation of Textual Conventions and Literary Elements

Lesson 1: Writing
Lesson 2: Writing to Speculate
Lesson 3: Writing to Analyze/Explain
Lesson 4: Writing to Persuade


Installing REA’s TestWare®

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