How the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) Compares to PARCC

In October of 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced that they were, as many states have also chosen to do, opting out of the PARCC assessment in lieu of administering their own New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) this spring. At that time, the NJDOE gave limited information or resources to educators, simply stating, “the tests will have fewer questions and take less time to administer.” In November, the units and testing times were released; however, details about the content of the new assessments were not yet divulged.

On February 22nd, the NJDOE released details of the Spring 2019 assessments as well as access to the practice tests. The GOOD NEWS: It’s almost identical to the PARCC. Rather than giving the complete PARCC assessment, New Jersey is using the “item-bank” option (discussed in this previous post) of selecting the PARCC questions they want to use on their own exam. If you have been using practice questions from the PARCC, then your students will be well-prepared.

NJSLA Facts

NJSLA English

Prior Years

Grade 3: 3 testing units, 75 minutes each

Grades 4-11: 3 testing units, 90 minutes each

Example:

Grade 3 PARCC Practice Test

  • 3 passages
  • 11 questions

Spring 2019* NJSLA ELA

Grade 3: 2 testing units, 75 minutes each

Grades 4-11: 2 testing units, 90 minutes each

* Certain districts that have been selected for field testing will administer 3 testing units in each grade.

Example:

Grade 3 NJSLA Practice Test

  • same first 2 passages as the PARCC practice test
  • same initial 7 questions as the PARCC practice test
  • removed the 3rd passage and last 4 questions from the PARCC practice test

NJSLA – ELA Links

NJSLA Mathematics

Prior Years

Grades 3-5: 4 testing units (all non-calculator), 60 minutes each

Grades 6 & 8: 3 testing units (1 non-calculator, 2 with calculator), 80 minutes each

Grade 7: 3 testing units (½ non-calculator, 2.5 with calculator), 80 minutes each

Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2: 3 testing units (½ non-calculator, 2.5 with calculator), 90 minutes each

Example:

Grade 3 PARCC Practice Test

  • 4 testing units
  • 43 questions

Spring 2019 NJSLA Math

Grades 3-5: 3 testing units (all non-calculator), 60 minutes each

Grades 6 & 8: 3 testing units (½ non-calculator, 2.5 with calculator), 60 minutes each

Grade 7: 3 testing units (1 non-calculator, 2 with calculator), 60 minutes each

Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2: 2 testing units (½ non-calculator, 1.5 with calculator), 90 minutes each

Example:

Grade 3 NJSLA Practice Test

  • 3 testing units
  • 33 questions (all identical to PARCC practice test, but removed 10 questions)
    • Q2, Q6, Q9 cut from Unit 1
    • Q5, Q6, Q9 cut from Unit 2
    • Q5, Q7 cut from Unit 3
    • Q4, Q5 cut from Unit 4

NJSLA – Mathematics Links

NJSLA Science

The NJSLA – Science will also be fully operational this spring, as it was a field test in the 2017-2019 school year. However, because this is the first year with the new assessment, the data collected will be considered baseline data and will not be used in the Quality Single Accountability Continuum. NJSLA Science

Grade 5: 4 testing units; 45 minutes each; standards from grades 3-5 tested

Grade 8: 4 testing units; 45 minutes each; all middle school standards tested

Grade 11: 4 testing units; 60 minutes each; all high school standards tested

NJSLA – Science Links

As some teachers have started calling the state assessment the “NJ-SLAY,” I hope for all the New Jersey educators, that your students do indeed slay their assessments this spring!  🔗 Looking for more information? Check out these links:


meghan thompsonMeghan Thompson joined Teach For America in 2008 and began her career in education as a 9th-12th Special Education Teacher in Charlotte, NC. In 2010, she was a member of the founding team at Henderson Collegiate (a school that has ranked in the top 3.5% of all NC public schools for the past 4 years). In 2014, she was a member of the founding team at Democracy Prep Baton Rouge and throughout her time at DPBR served as a middle school ELA teacher, middle school math teacher and the Middle School Campus Director.

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