Parents' guide to graduation

State Tests

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic … and Science

Every year, students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 take state tests in reading, writing, and math. Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 also take a science test. The tests measure students’ knowledge of content standards, and give the State feedback on how schools are performing.

In spring of 2015, students began taking the Oregon Statewide Assessment for English language arts and math. (Science is still tested by the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills).

Success Rates Improve over Time

When students take a new test, it’s normal for success rates to change. It can take a while for students to adapt to the new style of the test, and success rates normally improve over time. After students have had some time to adjust to the Smarter Balanced Assessment, parents might choose to look at state test results as one way to gauge their student’s progress in mastering state standards.

Practice Tests

Parents can help students prepare for the Smarter Balanced test by taking practice tests. Practice tests are available on the Oregon Department of Education’s Oregon Statewide Assessment System portal and from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Extra practice and encouragement at home will help a lot. Salem-Keizer Public Schools has prepared a series of flyers called Parents’ Tips for Testing to help parents help students get ready for the Smarter Balanced test. The flyers are available for download below.

Right to Exclude from Tests

Parents have the right to exclude their students from some state tests. Learn more.

More information about the Oregon Statewide Assessment can be found on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium website.

Close up of student notebook and hands

Tips for Testing:

Tips for Testing: Keep it Positive
Tips for Testing: Encourage Typing
Tips for Testing: Use Headphones
Tips for Testing: Attend Class Regularly
Tips for Testing: Think Analytically
Tips for Testing: Sleep and Eat