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 Pretest, Interim, and Final assessments allow students to demonstrate what they know, understand, and are able to do.
Administration of the assessments occurs once every 9-weeks 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.
Georgia Alternate Assessment
The Georgia Alternate Assessment is a standardized assessment that is individually administered and enables the demonstration of achievement of the knowledge, concepts, and skills inherent in the appropriate grade level standards. The assessment is typically given in March and April to Special Education students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11. Using the results of the assessment, parents will be able to learn more about their student’s progress and educators will have valuable information to plan for instruction.
The Gateway Writing Assessments are one method used to measure student learning of the Gwinnett County Public School System’s curriculum, the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS), in language arts, science, and social studies. The Gwinnett County Board of Education implemented the High School Gateway Assessment in 2000 as part of the school system’s mission to “pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior for each student resulting in measured improvement against local, national, and world-class standards.” Gateway was developed in response to requests from community and business leaders, along with college and university faculty, for increased proficiency in written communication. In order to be successful beyond high school, graduates must be able to communicate information and knowledge in a clear and concise written format. The Gateway Assessments reflect the commitment of Gwinnett County Public Schools to provide all students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in post-secondary institutions and the workplace.
The assessment is given in March. Students typically take Science in their 10th grade year. The U.S. History assessment is typically taken in 11th grade. Students receive scores for each subject area, indicating whether or not they have passed. Score(s) of "Meets" (Level 2) and " Exceeds" (Level 3) are considered passing. A passing score is required for graduation in Gwinnett.
The COVID-19 global health pandemic has impacted our school district, community, and world in countless ways. As we seek to reimagine education for our students, we are invested in resuming our Gateway Writing Assessment Program because the literacy skills that students demonstrate on Gateway are valuable skills that our students need to be competitive in the world of careers and college that lie ahead of all GCPS graduates.
Recognizing that the educational impacts of Gateway are far reaching, we are phasing in Gateway for our future graduating classes, as outlined below, to resume our normal administration schedule, which can be found on the Assessment Calendar for 2021-2022.
Class of 2022
Class of 2023
Class of 2024
Waive Gateway Science graduation requirement due to the Spring 2020 administration suspension
Waive Gateway Science graduation requirement due to the Spring 2021 administration suspension
During Spring 2022,10th grade students will take the main administration of the Science Gateway, which will be a prompt focused on Chemistry
Waive Gateway U.S. History graduation requirement due to the Spring 2021 administration suspension
During Spring 2022, 11th grade students will take the main administration of the U.S. History Gateway
During Spring 2023, 11th grade students will take the main administration of the U.S. History Gateway
The Instructional Guides, found in the right navigation of this page, present a sample Gateway topic for each content area with examples of student writing. These resources highlight the critical thinking and writing skills all GCPS graduates demonstrate.
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.
2022 EOC Dates for MHSHS:
- April 25 & 26: 11th American Lit & Comp:
- May 2: Algebra 1
- May 4: US History
- May 9: Biology
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 26, 2021
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.