Assessment and Testing
Assessment at ASD measures six fundamental aspects of learning. The first three measure student achievement: what students know, how well students transfer their knowledge to authentic performance tasks and how well students are able to communicate their learning. The subsequent three categories measure student learning behaviors: organization, engagement and collaboration.
Assessments are used to facilitate the learning process. We believe effective assessment places students at the center of their learning by allowing teachers to monitor student progress and provide timely feedback. We separate achievement from learning behaviors in order to clarify the difference between process and product. We structure our assessments and feedback to build content knowledge which provides the foundation for developing higher-order thinking skills and the ability to apply both knowledge and understanding to unique situations.
The MAP, SAT 10, PSAT, ACT, SAT I, and SAT II are offered at ASD.
MAP: All students in Grades 2-10 take the MAP Test in September and May.
PSAT: All students in Grades 10 and 11 take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in October.
ACT: The American College Test (ACT) is offered twice a year to students in their junior or senior years. ACT is a subject-based college entrance exam accepted by many colleges and universities in the United States. Students register and pay for these exams at www.actstudent.org.
SAT Exams: SAT exams are offered to students at various dates during their junior and senior years. Students often take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) and the subject area Scholastic Aptitude Test II (SAT II) in the spring of their junior year and/or fall of their senior year. Students should plan to take the subject area tests if they are required by the colleges and universities to which they would like to apply. Students register and pay for these exams at on the College Board website.
MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests taken on a computer. This means that the test becomes more difficult the more questions your child answers correctly. When your child answers incorrectly on two or more questions, the test adapts and the questions become easier. Therefore, your child takes a test specifically created for his or her learning level. In addition these tests are aligned with the Common Core standards in the United States.
Your child’s MAP results are reported via Rasch Units (RIT scores). This is a different type of score than a typical test which reports results based on percentage correct. It is also different from many tests that provide results based on your child’s score compared to other students in the same grade. As a result we can easily measure individual student’s growth in learning. These results are valuable to your child’s teacher as he or she can more easily recognize where to focus attention for your child’s optimal learning.
This MAP data is a powerful tool for monitoring student growth over time. We test our students in the fall and spring of each year. The fall testing session being a 'pre-test' to give teachers valuable information to prepare for the year and the spring testing session acting as the 'post-test' to check growth during that year. Student goal setting based upon the fall assessment results will be discussed at parent teacher conferences.
MAP reports are generated once all testing is complete and uploaded to the student profile on Skyward. An email advising that these are available will be sent out to the school accounts.
Teachers at ASD regularly offer both formative and summative assessments. There is regular feedback to ensure every student has the opportunity to achieve success.
College and University Requirements
It is the responsibility of each student to make sure that his or her academic plan for high school will meet the requirements for entrance into the college or university of his or her choice. Some programs may have additional requirements. Most American colleges and universities require that students graduate from an accredited or approved high school. ASD is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the six major U.S. accreditation agencies.
International students should plan to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL is required of international students and students for whom English is a second language who are applying to colleges and universities in the United States, Great Britain or other countries where the college/university language of instruction is English. TOEFL is offered at different sites for men and women.
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System which tests English proficiency across the globe. IELTS tests all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The speaking test is a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner. IELTS is available in two test formats: Academic or General Training. All candidates take the same listening and speaking modules but different reading and writing modules. www.ielts.org.