Testing programs

 

Standardized testing programs are designed to provide students, parents, teachers and counselors with valuable data that will help students achieve maximum potential.

There are both norm-referenced tests which provide a basis for comparing students' achievement performance with that of other students’ achievement performance nationally and criterion-referenced tests which measure students' mastery of the curriculum. These tests also provide a basis for making wise decisions regarding course offerings, help students consider various career options and enable administrators and teachers to determine the effectiveness of educational programs.

See below for a short overview of each standardized test including its purpose, participation, intended use and unique characteristics. 

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Research, Assessment & Accountability

Guidance & Counseling

State-mandated

STAAR and EOC

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR)
STAAR End-of-Course (EOC)

  • Criterion-referenced tests
  • Administered to students in grades 3-8 and high school EOC
  • Reading and mathematics are assessed annually
  • Writing, science and social studies are assessed at specific grade levels
  • Grades 3-5 tests are available in English and in Spanish
  • Linguistically Accommodated versions of mathematics, science and social studies tests are available for qualifying Limited English Proficient (LEP) students
  • Alternate version is available for qualifying Special Education students
  • Satisfactory performance on the grades 5 and 8 reading and mathematics tests is required for promotion as part of the Student Success Initiative (SSI)
  • Satisfactory performance on the five STAAR EOC assessments is a graduation requirement
  • For additional information see the GISD STAAR page or the Texas Education Agency (TEA) STAAR website
TELPAS

Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)

  • Criterion-referenced test
  • Administered in the spring semester to English language learners (ELLs) in kindergarten through grade 12
  • Measures English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Results reported on a proficiency level scale: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced or Advanced High
  • For additional information see the Texas Education Agency (TEA) TELPAS website

Academic performance

CIRCLE
  • Research-based progress monitoring tool
  • Administered at the beginning of the school year (BOY), the middle of the year (MOY) and the end of the year (EOY) to prekindergarten students
  • Measures and evaluates early literacy skills
  • Results used to ensure that quality instruction is provided to meet each student’s needs
Logramos, 3rd edition
  • Norm-referenced achievement test
  • Administered in the fall semester to students in Spanish bilingual programs in kindergarten and grades 1 and 3
  • Measures academic progress of Spanish-speaking students
  • Measures ability to apply knowledge and concepts and to interpret and analyze information
  • Results used to identify students who could participate in gifted and talented programs
ISIP

Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP)

  • Online adaptive test of reading capability in phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, alphabetic decoding, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and text fluency
  • Administered monthly to students in kindergarten through grade 8 who receive Tier II or Tier III intervention
  • Available in English and in Spanish
  • Useful for tracking student progress over time
  • Assists with identification of reading skill deficiencies
  • Results used to ensure that quality instruction is provided to meet each student’s needs
  • For additional information see Istation’s website
MAP and MPG

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (MPG)

  • Online adaptive standardized achievement tests
  • Administered at the beginning of the school year (BOY), the middle of the year (MOY) and the end of the year (EOY)
  • MAP administered to students in grades 3-9
  • MPG administered to students in kindergarten through grade 2
  • Provide a measure of growth between administrations within and across school years
  • Serve as universal screeners to assist teachers with planning instructional intervention aimed at meeting each student’s needs
  • Measure a student’s instructional level
  • Results used to identify specialized opportunities such as magnet programs and gifted and talented programs
  • For additional information see NWEA’s website

Academic ability

NNAT 2

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, 2nd edition (NNAT 2)

  • Online norm-referenced test
  • Administered in the fall semester to students in kindergarten and grade 1
  • Measures pattern completion, reasoning by analogy, serial reasoning and spatial visualization
  • Results used to identify students who could participate in gifted and talented programs
CogAT

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

  • Online norm-referenced test
  • Administered in the fall semester to students in grade 5
  • Measures inductive and deductive reasoning abilities in the following tasks:Results reflect ability to identify relationships and demonstrate flexible thinking
    • Verbal: analogies, classification, sentence completion
    • Nonverbal: figure matrices, paper folding, figure classification
    • Quantitative: analogies, series, puzzles
  • Results used to identify students who could participate in gifted and talented programs

College and Career preparedness

ACT

American College Test (ACT)

  • College entrance test that assesses knowledge in English, reading, mathematics and science (optional writing test is available)
  • Measures educational development and academic preparedness
  • Students may specify which colleges/universities receive their scores
  • For additional information and registration see ACT’s website or ACT’s student website
AP

Advanced Placement (AP)

Taken each May by students enrolled in AP courses, the AP Exam is a standardized exam designed to measure how well a student has mastered the content and skills of the course. A successful score could earn you credit and advanced placement in college.

Learn more on our Advanced Placement (AP) page.

ASVAB

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

  • Multiple-aptitude test
  • Offered in the fall semester to students in grade 12
  • Measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success, particularly for military recruitment
  • Students who participate may access the Career Exploration website which allows independent research into military and civilian careers
  • Additional career exploration to help students focus on potential areas of further education is available through the ASVAB website
PSAT and PSAT/NMSQT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) 8/9

PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT)

  • Standardized tests that provide practice for the SAT in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Administered in the fall semester
    • PSAT administered to students in grades 8 and 9
    • PSAT/NMSQT administered to students in grades 10 and 11
    • Measure academic ability rather than memorization of content
    • Students who take the PSAT receive information from colleges of their choice
    • National Merit Scholarship Program eligibility is based on scores earned by grade 11 testers
    • For additional information, see our PSAT and SAT page.
SAT

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)/SAT School Day

  • College entrance tests
  • Administered in the spring semester to students in grade 11
  • Measure abilities and existing knowledge in critical reading, writing and mathematics
  • Students may specify which colleges/universities receive their scores
  • For additional information, see our PSAT and SAT page.

Content acquisition

CBE

Credit by Exam (CBE)

Unit and Semester

Unit and Semester Assessments

  • Developed by district curriculum experts
  • Administered primarily to students in grades 3-12 in English Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies
    • Unit assessments given at the end of each instructional segment
    • Semester assessments given at the end of the fall and spring semesters
    • Measure understanding of the curriculum

Designed to provide teachers with a “check point” of knowledge and to help teachers develop a plan for additional instructional support for students