Top 5 questions about the new Georgia Milestones Tests
Beginning in the 2014-15 school year , the Georgia Department of Education will use a new testing system to replace the End-of - Course tests(EOCT) and Criterion Referenced Competency tests (CRCT). The new testing system, developed by the state of Georgia , is named Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones) . The Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to better prepare students for college and career.
2. What grade level and content areas will be tested on the new state test?
Students in grades 3-12 will be assessed by Georgia Milestones. In grades 3-8, students will be given end-of-grade (EOG) tests in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies. High school students will be given Georgia Milestones end –of-course(EOC) tests in ninth grade literature and composition, American literature and composition, coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, physical science, biology, U.S. history, and economics.
3. How is Georgia Milestones different from the EOCT and CRCT?
On the new Georgia Milestones, students in grades 3-12 will be assessed using one test rather than a series of individual tests. When students took the CRCT previously, a separate test was given for reading , language arts and writing. In addition , at the high school level, students were given the EOCT and writing assessment. Now, reading, language arts and writing have been combined to align more directly with the common core Georgia Performance Standards. In addition, the Georgia Milestones will include open-ended questions to determine how well students have mastered the content that they have been taught in all content areas. The test will also include questions that require students to provide elaborate answers to explain their answers or reasoning. Since Georgia Milestones will include writing in all grade levels, students will no longer take the grades 3,5, and 8 writing assessments. Moreover, some tested items will have more than one correct answer.
4. Why is the change to the Georgia Milestones necessary?
The Georgia Milestones will determine how well students have mastered the state standards and how prepared students are for college and careers. These new tests will also better support Georgia students, as they compete with their peers in the United States and other countries. The Georgia Milestones will also give educators more information about how students might perform on other tests, such as the SAT or ACT.
5. Will the Georgia Milestones be given to students online?
The Georgia Milestones will transition to an online assessment over a five year period. In the first year, it is expected that 30 percent of students will take the test online. By Year 3, it is expected that 80 percent of students will take the assessment online. By year 5, the expectation is that 100 percent of students will be tested online. However, the Georgia Department of Education will provide paper/pencil versions for the small number of students who cannot use a computer as a result of a disability. Braille forms will also be available for students who need them.
How can I support my child, as he/she prepares to take this test?
Encourage your child to employ good study and test taking skills. These skills include following directions carefully, avoiding careless errors, and reviewing work. Explain the purpose of the tests. The assessments give students an opportunity to show what they have learned in school. They also give teachers information that helps them plan instruction. Be certain your student gets plenty of sleep and has a healthy breakfast and lunch. Taking test is hard work for many students and can require a lot of energy.