The testing season is here!
No, not the end-of-year testing that schools across the country gear up for each spring. Instead, this is the annual “rite of fall” where thousands of students across the country are lining up to take their SAT’s, PSAT's or ACT’s. Many have spent hours preparing for these exams with private tutors, online practice tests, and thick workbooks full of preview questions. While these tools can be helpful, there’s another tool that teachers can use not just to assist students with test prep but also to measure their progress relative to students across the country. This tool is the Assessment Series from CommonLit.
A Testing Tool to Leverage for Students
CommonLit’s Assessment Series is an integral piece of our School Essentials PRO Package. While not identical in structure or content, the Assessment Series does provide students with multiple choice questions and an assessment experience that mimics aspects of the SAT, PSAT and ACT.
For example, in all the above assessments, students are reading rigorous literary and informational texts. They read multiple passages and are then asked a variety of questions about the works they’ve read. In the Assessment Series, as in the SAT, PSAT and ACT, students are tasked with finding the best evidence in passages. Another component of these tests is citing main ideas and determining themes, two key literacy skills. In addition, students are also asked to analyze quotations and author’s intent in authentic texts and determine the accuracy of summaries. All of these skills are measured in CommonLit’s Assessment Series, and teachers are provided with a solid benchmark to determine where students are performing and where their skills need shoring up prior to taking a high-stakes SAT, PSAT or ACT.
Another major aspect of all these tests is vocabulary and language usage. There are vocabulary items which require students to use context clues to determine the meaning of words. Also, author's craft questions that relate to understanding how figurative language and word choices create an effect on the reader are included. All of these are important literary skills for students to be assessed on.
Assessment Series Provides Actionable Data
Once students have taken CommonLit’s Assessment Series exam, teachers will be able to see their results in such categories as Central Idea, Vocabulary and Language, Finding Evidence and more. The questions are grouped by type to give a full picture of where students’ strengths and challenges may be. Based on this information, teachers can assign Target Lessons and other intervention activities to remediate specific skills gaps.
In addition to item-based data for teachers to analyze and act upon, students’ performance scores are delivered in percentile, scale, and nationwide comparative formats. The scaled scores place students in one of three categories, Below or Approaching Grade Level, On-Grade Level, and Above Grade Level. This information allows teachers to provide students with appropriate enrichment or acceleration opportunities. Teachers will also see their students’ overall percentile correct score and their percentile ranking which shows how the student’s performance compares with others across the country.
For this year’s testing season, make CommonLit’s Assessment Series a part of your test-prep game plan. Your students could benefit and so could their test scores.