Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State
ACCESS is a standards-based, criterion-referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners' social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains. ACCESS is used to determine the proficiency levels and progress of English Learners (EL) in the domains of Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing. ACCESS for ELLs serves five main purposes. These include:
- determining the English language proficiency level of students;
- providing districts with information that will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their ESOL programs;
- providing information that enhances instruction and learning in programs for English language learners;
- assessing annual English language proficiency gains using a standards-based assessment instrument;
- providing data for meeting federal and state requirements with respect to student assessment.
ACCESS is administered from January through March to all students who are English Language Learners. The assessment is given online. Scores are reported in the four domains and proficiency in six levels: entering, beginning, developing, expanding, bridging, and reaching.
The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area assessment in reading, math, science, English, and an optional writing assessment. The ACT is offered six times during the school year: September, October, December, February, April, and June to students in high school. Students are scored on reading, math, science, English, and an optional writing assessment. Scores for this assessment can be submitted toward college admission.
AP assessments allow students to get a feel for the rigors of college-level studies while in High School. By participating in AP studies, students demonstrate to college admission officers that they have sought out an educational experience that prepares them for success in college and beyond. AP exams are offered in May. The schedule for administering the AP exams is created by the College Board. High School Students register for the assessments at their local high school.
Designed to measure how well students have mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course, most AP exams are paper-and-pencil exams, but a few courses have different ways to assess learning—for example, AP Art and Design students submit a portfolio of work for scoring; some AP World Languages and Cultures exams are computer-based.
AP exams are a weighted combination of the student's scores in a multiple-choice and a free-response section. Scores are reported on a 5 point scale (5 being the highest) and show mastery in the course. Scores of 3, 4, or 5 can afford students credit for a college course or enable them to skip the college course (policies vary by college).
District Assessments are a part of Gwinnett County Public School’s Balanced Assessment Program. They are a mixture of both formative and summative assessments administered at the classroom level to measure student learning of the Academic, Knowledge, and Skills (AKS). The Interim and Final assessments allow students to demonstrate what they know, understand, and are able to do.
Administration of the assessments occurs once in the middle of the semester and once at the end of the semester, and requires a maximum of one class period to complete.
The data from the assessments provide teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders information regarding student learning. Students are encouraged to review their assessment results and teacher feedback to help improve their learning. Teachers use the data, individually and collaboratively, to help make informed decisions during planning and refining of instructional activities. District leaders use the data to provide instructional support to improve student achievement.
The Georgia Milestones is a comprehensive summative assessment program that measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the content standards. It is designed to provide information about student achievement and readiness to move on to the next level of learning. While the tests measure each individual student’s mastery of the curriculum during the school year, they also help teachers and schools better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on learning and identify what resources and support our students will need in the coming school year.
Georgia Milestones for High School Students
Schools administer the Georgia Milestones End of Course Assessments to students in designated courses to measure achievement in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Courses with an End of Course assessment are Algebra I, Biology, American Literature and Composition (11th Grade), and U.S. History. Testing will be administered over multiple days, depending on the course. The testing schedule is determined by your student’s school.
In order to ensure postsecondary readiness in students, GCPS has created the Gwinnett Writes writing assessment. This assessment is a key improvement to the Balanced Assessment Program as it will allow GCPS to monitor and assess writing skills for each and every student as they learn to write in elementary school and use writing with increasing fluency for learning in middle and high school courses.
Field testing will begin in 6th and 10th grades for the 2023-2024 school year. Once fully implemented, GCPS will administer a summative writing assessment to students in grades 3rd-7th as well as in 9th and 10th grades, and we will provide formative writing resources and prompts to support teachers’ inclusion into instructional lessons.
National Assessment of Educational Progress
NAEP assesses what America's students know and can do in the subject areas of: Math, Reading, Writing, Science, the Arts, Civics, Economics, Geography, U.S. History, and Technology/Engineering Literacy (TEL). These assessments are given between January and March. A randomly selected sample of students in grades 4, 8, and 12. Individual scores are not provided. NAEP provides results on: Subject-matter, Instructional Experiences, School Environment. This assessment is not taken online with the exception of the Technology and Engineering (TEL) portion.
Test Date: October 25, 2023
About the PSAT/NMSQT
GCPS 10th grade students take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) as practice for the SAT college admission assessment. Once registered, students also have access to SAT study tools through the College Board, which administers the SAT Suite of Assessments.
In addition, 9th and 11th graders have the option to take the PSAT/NMSQT for a fee. Scores for juniors who take this assessment are used by scholarship programs, including the National Merit Scholarship Program, to look for eligible students.
The test focuses on skills and knowledge in the areas of Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, and Mathematics. The time allotted for each section ranges from 35 minutes to 70 minutes, for a total of two hours and 45 minutes on testing day.