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Seven things families should know about 2018 3-8 ELA & math exams

Central Valley students in grades 3-8 will soon take their 2018 English Language Arts and math state exams. The exams have changed dramatically to address the concerns many parents expressed over past exams. Here are seven important changes:

1. More students will take the test on a computer

By 2020, New York State expects that all students will take exams on a computer instead of using paper and pencil. This year, Jarvis Middle School students are participating in computer-based testing. Barringer Road Elementary School students will use paper and pencil.

2. Each test will take place over two days.

The two-day exam period marks a significant change from the previous school year, in which each exam lasted three days. As long as students are working productively, they will be given as much time as they need to complete the test during the school day.

3. Students will respond to a variety of question types.

Students will read short passages and answer multiple choice questions on the ELA exam. They will also provide textual evidence to explain their answers, and write an essay. Students taking the math exam will answer multiple-choice questions, and show their work on more complex, multi-step problems.

4. Test questions will be written by local educators.

This is the first year that test questions on the ELA and math exams will be written by New York state teachers.

5. Teachers will not be evaluated based on student test scores.

State policymakers put a freeze on the use of grade 3-8 ELA and math test scores in teacher and principal evaluation ratings until 2019.

6. State test results will not impact student grades.

The state prohibits districts from making student promotion/placement decisions solely based on state test scores. Schools cannot include the results of the grade 3-8 ELA and math tests on students’ official transcripts or permanent records until December 31, 2018.

7. Resources available after the exams.

The state will provide score reports to help parents understand how their child is doing in ELA and math. State officials will release some test questions before the school year ends to help teachers inform instruction and improve student learning. Last June, 75 percent of the questions were released.


  • Barringer Road Elementary Grades 3-4 (paper-based tests)
    • ELA: April 11-12, 2018
    • Math: May 1-2, 2018
  • Jarvis Middle School Grades 6 & 8 (computer-based tests)
    • ELA: April 10-11, 2018
    • Math: May 1-2, 2018
  • Jarvis Middle School Grades 5 & 7 (computer-based tests)
    • ELA: April 12-13, 2018
    • Math: May 3-4, 2018