A Family Guide To Your Child’s State Test Scores

Each spring, your child takes a state test in math and English language arts to measure progress against grade-level expectations. The test matches the skills that are taught in the classroom and focuses on real world abilities like critical-thinking, problem-solving, and writing. It is one of several measures to help you understand if your child is prepared for the next grade. This guide provides important information including how the test scores are used and how you can support learning at home.

  • What does my child’s test score mean?

    • Your child’s score shows how well he or she met the expectations of the grade level. You will also be able to see how your child did in comparison to peers across the grade, school, district, and in some cases, state.

  • How will my child’s score be used?

    • Teachers use scores to guide their instruction so they can provide additional supports in the areas where students need improvement or more challenging work in areas where they excel. Scores will also be used to measure how well schools, districts, and states are doing.

  • What should I take away from the score report?

    • The score report helps you understand your child’s academic progress towards the grade-level expectations in math and English. It also breaks down each subject into categories of skills to provide you with a better understanding of how your child performed in specific areas.

  • What resources are available to help my child?

      • GreatSchools Test Guide for Parents: This guide helps you understand each section of your child’s score report and connects you to grade-level activities that match each test category in math and English.
      • Skill Builder: Find interactive, grade-level activities to support the skills in each test category for math and English.
      • PTA Parents’ Guide to Student Success: See an overview of the learning goals and suggested activities for your child in every grade.
  • What if my child did well on his or her report card last year, but not as well on the state test?

    • The state test isn’t meant to tell the whole story. It is meant to be combined with other measures, including report card grades, classroom performance and teacher feedback, to give you a more complete picture of your child’s performance. To further understand your child’s overall academic performance and whether they are performing at/or above grade level, it’s important to talk to his or her teacher.

  • How can I use these test results to help my child improve?

    • You can use your child’s scores to find activities designed specifically for each test category at every grade level. You can also use the test results to guide a discussion with your child’s teacher(s) about additional supports or challenges that may be needed in class, as well as other ways to support your child at home.

      To find resources designed specifically for each test category, visit: GreatSchools Test Guide for Parents or Skill Builder.

  • What types of questions are on the test?

    • The test matches what students learn and do in the classroom. It includes traditional multiple-choice questions to measure understanding as well as questions that ask students to apply critical thinking and writing skills, and explain their reasoning. To see a practice test from your state test, click here.

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