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 Growth

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth

  • For all students in grades K-8
  • Administered in the fall, winter and spring
  • Growth through the school year and over multiple years is tracked
  • Online tests that dynamically adapt based on student performance
  • Measures whether a student performs on, above, or below grade level
  • Assist teachers with planning instructional intervention aimed at meeting each student’s needs
  • For additional information, see the 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:
    • Verbal: analogies, classification, sentence completion
    • Nonverbal: figure matrices, paper folding, figure classification
    • Quantitative: analogies, series, puzzles
  • Score reflects ability to identify relationships and demonstrate flexible thinking
  • Results used to identify students who could participate in gifted and talented programs

College and Career preparedness

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
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.

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

Known as the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, the PSAT is a test designed to prepare students for the SAT. It helps measure college and career readiness. When students do well, they can qualify for academic recognition programs, increase their chances of getting a scholarship and help boost SAT scores.

Tests offered are the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) 8/9 and the 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.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The SAT is designed to measure college and career readiness. When students do well on these tests they can qualify for academic recognition programs and increase their chance of getting a scholarship.

We hold an annual Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)/SAT School Day for students to test.

  • 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.
Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSI-A)

The TSI-Assessment is a college readiness test for incoming college students in Texas. Performance determines whether students will be enrolled in a college-level course or put into a developmental course.

There are three test sections:  Reading, Writing, and Math. The tests are not timed, so take your time and do your best. Certain students may be exempt from taking the TSI-A.

Learn more about the TSI-A on the TEA website.

Content acquisition

Credit by Exam (CBE)
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