Why do we test students? Mainly, educators use assessment data to better understand the learning needs of every student. Additionally, testing can help with placement in appropriate classes, help students get into college or “test out” of college classes, and testing can also help determine specific learning standards that students may be having issues with. Here at LUHS we use several different tests to provide the best results for students.
You may be familiar with such tests as the SAT’s, ACT’s, and ASVAB tests. These tests have been in place for many years and we offer these tests at Lassen. These tests are gateways into many colleges or the military and can impact a student’s success in the future. As they progress through high school, it becomes necessary for students to consider which, if any, standardized tests they should take. Some of these tests do have fees and if you have questions about the fees, dates of testing, or anything related to these three tests you can contact the counseling department at 530-257-6857.
AP exams are highly regulated like the SATs and have strict rules about when you can take them, what you can bring into the testing environment, and what you can share with others after taking them (nothing really). There are many advantages to taking AP classes/tests including:
Competitive advantage in college admissions
College credit for qualifying AP Exam scores
Greater course depth
Preparation for college-level work
Encourage your child to talk to peers, counselors, and teachers to learn more about the benefits of AP courses and the specific process for enrolling in their the Lassen High AP program.
Click HERE to visit the College Board website and find out even more about AP testing.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) is the proven first step to college and career opportunity. By measuring reading, mathematics, and writing skills, the PSAT/NMSQT provides students with valuable college readiness feedback and tools to help them reach their college goals.
The SAT is one of two standardized college admissions tests in the US. (The other is the ACT.) It’s run by the College Board, a non-profit that also administers the PSAT and the AP (Advanced Placement) program.
The SAT is a standardized test meant to show schools how prepared a student is for college by measuring key skills like reading comprehension, computational ability, and clarity of expression. Because so many students take the test, it also provides schools with data about how a student compares to their peers nationwide.
Students will almost certainly need to take the SAT or ACT if they are applying to any colleges or universities in the United States, since most require you to submit test scores with your application. Depending on where students want to apply, the ACT or SAT score can account for as much as 50% of the admission decision, so a strong standardized test score is vital.
The ACT® is the other standardized college admissions tests in the US. The ACT test motivates students to perform to their best ability. Test scores reflect what students have learned throughout high school and provide colleges and universities with excellent information for recruiting, advising, placement, and retention.
Many times, students who are not considering higher education rethink their plans when they see their ACT test results. This is especially true for underrepresented students. To support college and career planning, the ACT also offers a career exploration component to help students identify career options.
Talk to your students counselor about these important tests!
Every year some students will take a portion of a CAASPP test. These tests are given at the high school level only once per test. State test results can be used by California State Universities (CSU) or California Community Colleges (CCC) as part of the Early Assessment Program (EAP). If a student does well and is considered “Ready” for college level English and/or math courses then they may enroll directly in CSU or CCC college level English and/or math courses. Students may also be exempt from taking required CSU English and/or math placement tests (EPT/ELM) and from participating in the CSU Early Start Program. For more information please check out this flyer https://www.calstate.edu/eap/documents/EAP-Junior-Flyer.pdf which will provide more detailed information or talk to your counselor.
Because everyone wants the best outcomes for students taking these tests there are universal tools, designated supports and even accommodations (with an IEP) that can help your child succeed during testing. These tools provide things like high contrast screen settings, quite settings, a bilingual dictionary, and more and many of the settings are available for all students. For more information click HERE.
Statewide Testing Notification
California students take several mandated statewide tests. These tests provide parents/guardians, teachers, and educators with information about how well students are learning and becoming college and career ready. The test results may be used for local, state, and federal accountability purposes.
California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests:
- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Assessments The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) computer adaptive assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics tests are administered in grades three through eight and grade eleven to measure whether students are on track to college and career readiness. In grade eleven, results from the ELA and math assessments can be used as an indicator of college readiness.
- California Science Tests (CAST) The new, computer-based CAST measures student acquisition of the California Next Generation Science Standards. It is administered in grades five and eight, and once in high school. The new computer-based CAST replaces the California Standards Tests (CST) for Science.
- California Alternate Assessments (CAA) The computer-based CAA for ELA and CAA for mathematics is administered to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades three through eight and grade eleven. Test items are aligned with the CCSS and are based on the Core Content Connectors. The instructionally embedded CAA for Science is administered in grades five and eight, and once in high school.
- Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) for Reading/Language Arts California offers the optional STS for Reading/Language Arts, which are multiple-choice tests that allow Spanish-speaking English learners to demonstrate their knowledge of the California content standards. The California Spanish Assessment (CSA) will replace the optional STS. The CSA will be a computer-based assessment that is aligned with the California CCSS en Español.
Pursuant to California Education Code Section 60615, parents/guardians may annually submit to the school a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP assessments.
English Language Proficiency Assessments for California
California will transition from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to the English Language Proﬁciency Assessments for California (ELPAC) in 2017–18. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards.
The ELPAC consists of two separate English Language Proﬁciency (ELP) assessments: one for the initial identiﬁcation of students as English learners and the other for the annual summative assessment to identify students’ English language proﬁciency level and to measure their progress in learning English.
The initial assessment helps identify students who need help learning in English so that they have the best chance to do well in school while accessing the full curriculum. Students who do not yet know English will be placed in a class to help develop their English.
The Summative assessment is given yearly to English learners to measure their progress in learning English and can be used to help determine if students needs extra help in language learning.
The ELPAC tests four different areas:
Public school students in grades five, seven, and nine are required to take the PFT, whether or not they are enrolled in a physical education class or participate in a block schedule. These students include those enrolled in local educational agencies (LEAs) such as elementary, high, and unified school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools. LEAs must also test all students in alternate programs, including, but not limited to, continuation schools, independent study, community day schools, county community schools, and nonpublic schools. Students who are physically unable to take the entire test battery are to be given as much of the test as his or her condition will permit. (Education Code (EC) Section 60800 and the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 1041).
The PFT provides information that can be used by (1) students to assess and plan personal fitness programs; (2) teachers to design the curriculum for physical education programs; and (3) parents and guardians to understand their children’s fitness levels. This program also provides results that are used to monitor changes in the physical fitness of California students. By law (EC Section 60800), all LEAs in California are required to administer the PFT annually to all students in grades five, seven, and nine.
The FITNESSGRAM®is composed of the following six fitness areas, with a number of test options provided for most areas:
- PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run)
- One-Mile Run
- Walk Test (only for ages 13 or older)
- Abdominal Strength and Endurance
- Upper Body Strength and Endurance
- Modified Pull-Up
- Flexed-Arm Hang
- Body Composition
- Skinfold Measurements
- Body Mass Index
- Bioelectric Impedance Analyzer
- Trunk Extensor Strength and Flexibility
- Trunk Lift
- Back-Saver Sit and Reach
- Shoulder Stretch
The FITNESSGRAM® uses objective criteria to evaluate performance for each fitness area (e.g., body composition, abdominal strength, and endurance). The Cooper Institute established these criteria using current research and expert opinions. These criteria represent a level of fitness that offers some protection against the diseases associated with physical inactivity.
MAP Growth is a computer adaptive test created by NWEA that students take twice per school year. The results provide teachers with information to help them deliver appropriate content for each student and determine each student’s academic growth over time. MAP can help determine if students are working at grade level and determine if a students has any problem areas that if addressed could help their success in their academic subjects.
MAP Growth tests are interim assessments, which means they may be given periodically during the year. It is based on the same standards as the summative (“high-stakes” or state) tests, so they measure similar content. Teachers receive immediate results with MAP Growth that show what students know and what they are ready to learn. The results can be used to help prepare students for state tests, identify trouble areas, and help with placement. The MAP test measures a students reading, math, and language skills. This test is responsive, which means it adapts based on how students answer the questions. This gives teachers a real sense of what skills students understand, which skills students need to develop, and which skills the students are ready to have introduced. It can also help determine if a student is prepared for state testing, AP classes, or whether they may need remedial classes.
Click HERE to view the NWEA Parent Guide