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Grades 3-8 NYS ELA testing Mar. 28-30

Filed in Archive by on March 21, 2017

Bethlehem students in grades 3-8 will take state exams in English language arts (ELA) beginning Tuesday, March 28 and continuing through Thursday, March 30. The math exams for grades 3-8 will take place this year in May. 

Testing Dates

  • March 28-30, 2017: NYS ELA Testing, Grades 3-8
  • May 2-4, 2017: NYS Math Testing, Grades 3-8

Testing Information

In 2017: What parents need to know about the Grades 3-8 NYS exams


As the spring testing season approaches, New York state education leaders are reminding families about a series of changes to the state’s English language arts (ELA) and math exams for grades 3-8. The changes, first introduced in 2016, involve how the tests are created and how the results are used, while others impact the testing experience for students. The changes include:

Greater involvement of educators in the test development process

New York educators were charged with evaluating and selecting assessment questions for use on the spring 2017 exams. If teachers did not like a test question, it was pulled from the test and replaced with a question they liked better. New York state teachers are also involved in writing questions that will appear on grades 3-8 exams in spring 2018.

Exams will have fewer questions

Like last year, students will read one fewer passage and answer fewer questions overall on all grades 3-8 ELA exams. They will also have four fewer multiple-choice questions to answer on the math tests in all grades.

Students will be given as much time as they need to complete the tests

State education leaders have said that as long as students are working productively, they will be given as much time as they need to complete the tests. Some students will take computer-based exams Some students will take the grades 3-8 exams on a computer instead of using a pencil and paper as NYSED helps districts transition to computer-based testing. Many school leaders believe computer-based testing will eventually lead to reduced testing time and faster results.

Moratorium on the use of grades 3-8 ELA/math test scores in teacher and principal evaluations

The state established a moratorium until the 2019-2020 school year on the use of state-provided growth scores based on the grades 3-8 ELA and math exams for the purposes of teacher and principal accountability. The state prohibits districts from making student promotion/placement decisions solely based on state test scores. Also, until December 31, 2018, school districts cannot include the results of the grades 3-8 ELA and math tests on students’ official transcripts or permanent records.

Release of more test questions

The state plans to release at least 75 percent of the exam questions after the exams are given. Last year, the state released 75 percent of the exam questions in August. Released questions can be used by educators to help inform instruction and improve student learning.

Redesigned score reports for parents

Like last year, the score reports for parents have been made more user-friendly, so you can know exactly how your child is doing. Your child’s score is more visible, and shown in better context. Plus, there is a simple comparison of your child’s score to his or her peers. The report lists specific skills that students were asked to use and a simplified explanation of the assessments. It also more clearly explains helpful next steps for parents.

More about the 3-8 ELA and math exams

New York students in grades 3-8 take state exams in English language arts (ELA) and math each year, typically in March/April. On the ELA exam, students are asked to read short passages and answer multiple choice questions or provide textual evidence to explain their answers. They are also asked to write an essay. On the math exam, students are asked to use what they’ve learned in school to answer multiple-choice questions, as well as show their work on more complex, multi-step problems.