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New Jersey has administered statewide assessments since the 1970s, and over the years, the testing program has evolved. It began as a measure of basic skills, and after 1996, it has assessed the state's academic standards. In 2001, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, every state was required to test students in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in grades 3 to 8 and grade 11. That mandate is still in effect under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.

In 2010, New Jersey adopted new, high-quality standards which changed the expectations in ELA and mathematics to emphasize higher-order thinking skills and not just memorizing information. In May 2016, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted revisions to the mathematics and ELA standards and renamed all areas of the state's academic standards the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

In the 2014-15 school year, New Jersey transitioned from its former assessments to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in mathematics and English language arts. The PARCC assessments more accurately measure the higher-level skills developed under the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and provide parents and educators with meaningful information to improve teaching and learning. 

In the 2018-2019 school year, New Jersey has left the PARCC consortium and adopted the New Jersey State Learning Assessment (NJSLA - ELA/MATH) also created by the Pearson company. The ELA and MATH assessments have been shortened by one unit along with a slightly shorter testing unit time.

Pearson has also created the NJSLA - Science Assessment to be administered to grades 5, 8, and 11.

Students with disabilities who qualify will take the alternative assessment, Dynamic Learning Map (DLM), in place of the NJSLA.


Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-6.6, beginning in the Fall of 2016 school districts and charter schools must, by October 1 of each year, provide parents or guardians certain information on any State assessment or commercially-developed standardized assessment that will be administered in that school year.


WHY ASSESS? Assessment is an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not educational goals are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, and curriculum. It provides predictive data for teachers to use to differentiate instruction and pinpoint the instructional needs of each and every student. Assessment inspires us to ask these hard questions: "Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?" "Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?" "Is there a way to teach the content better, thereby promoting better learning?"

NJSLA (New Jersey Student Learning Assessment) – NJSLA is an online assessment required to be administered to all NJ public school students grades 3-8 each spring created by Pearson. It assesses English Language Arts and Mathematics based on the NJ Student Learning standards. NJSLA will take approximately 1.5-2 hours per day for 5 days.

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) – MAP is a state aligned computerized adaptive assessment that measures achievement in Mathematics and Reading created by the Northwest Evaluation Association. It will be implemented a minimum of twice per year (September and May) district wide. Each implementation period will take approximately two hours. All NCS students K-8 will complete the MAP assessment. The data helps determine students’ instructional level measuring students’ growth and charts progress throughout the year as well as year to year. MAP helps teachers learn about student growth, individual skill mastery and what instructional guidance is needed to help students advance their learning.

-          All students are asked the same number of questions, but the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the students answer questions correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier and then become progressively more challenging. This enables this assessment to precisely identify the full spectrum of a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

-          Students receive a RIT (Rasch UnIT) score. It is a unit of measurement of a student’s instructional level and their progress. The RIT score is a scale which measures students’ academic performance independent of a grade level. A student’s RIT score helps you understand what a student knows, is ready to learn and projected to achieve.

-          MAP provides immediate feedback and information to target individual instruction. We do not have to wait for scores.

More information will be provided with your child’s RIT score so you can understand how to read and interpret the data.

New Jersey school districts, charter schools and renaissance school projects are required by statute (N.J.S.A. 18A: 7C-6.6) to annually notify parents or guardians by October 1 of any statewide student assessment or commercially developed standardized assessment that will be administered over the course of the school year.


  • Number of Testing Administrations in Districts refers to the number of times a particular assessment will be offered during the school year.

  • Testing Mode refers to how the student will be administered the assessment. The two modes are computer-based, and paper-and-pencil. Some       computer-based assessments allow students to take the assessment using paper and pencil. Be sure to inquire about the options if your child has a medical issue that would not allow them to take the assessment on the computer.

  • Testing Time is the maximum amount of time allotted to students to complete the assessment.

  • Testing Window is the period in which districts administer the statewide student assessment. It is not the actual number of days it takes a student to complete the assessment. School districts can choose the specific days within the window to administer the test. Please inquire with your district about the exact testing dates of the assessment.

  • Results Available refers to date districts receive individualized student results from the assessment vendor. These results should be distributed to students, educators and families as soon as possible.

  • Requirement refers to whether the assessment is required (Req.) by state and/or federal (Fed.) government, or by the district.


Assessment Name


Subject Area(s)

Grade Level(s)  Tested

Number of Testing Administrations in District

Testing Mode

Testing Time Allotted per Student

Testing Window

Results Available


Information about Available Accommodations and Accessibility Features

Information for Parents and Guardians Regarding the Assessment

New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA) ELA/Literacy & Mathematics


   - ELA

   - Math

3 - 8

3 - 6 days


Two 90-min. units, Total time 180 min. per subject


Late August 

State & Federal

NJSLA Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual

For more information please visit the Office of Assessments website &/or district curriculum page 

NJSLA Science Assessment


5  & 8

1 day


Four 45-min units for a total of three hours


Late September to early October

State and federal

NJSLA Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual

For more information please visit the Office of Assessments website &/or district curriculum page

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)




3 - 8

1 - 3 days


One on one with teacher over a week’s span


Late August

State and federal

DLM Accessibility Manual

For more information please visit the Office of Assessments website


English Language Proficiency Test

K - 8

1 - 3 days

Paper - Grade K & by request

Online - Grade 1 - 8

No time limit


June - July

State and federal

As per IEP/504

Parent Handbook

Provided in different languages






1 - 2 days


Approx 122 min


One Month after       testing


As per IEP/504 Teacher will guide students through test




K - 8

1 day 3 times per year


One hour per content




After each testing window closes


As per IEP/504


*If a student is permitted extra time or any other accommodations as per their IEP or 504, parent/guardian should contact their guidance office for additional details on accommodations and accessibility options.