The State Department of Education has developed and continues to refine a system of tests that measure and provide data for reporting of student progress. All required standardized tests administered in the public schools of Tennessee are part of the TCAP.
Since Tennessee is an English-only state, tests are not offered in a native language format. Exact testing dates for each assessment can be found on the SDE website: http://www.tennessee.gov/education/assessment/test_schedule.shtml
TCAP Achievement Tests
These tests are administered annually in the spring to students in grades 3-8. During the 2014-2015 school year, the TCAP will assess student work in the areas of Reading, Language Arts, Math, and Science.
Scores from the Achievement Test will count as 15% of the second semester grade in the tested subjects.
End of Course (EOC) Tests
In the new High School Transition Policy, the State Board stipulated that End of Course examinations will be given in English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Algebra II, Biology, and Chemistry. The results of these examinations will be factored into the student’s grade.
TCAP End of Course (EOC) US History Field Test
All students in grades 3 thru 11 will take the online Writing Assessment. Students will be given a reading selection and then a prompt that they are required to read before they begin to write. A reading stimulus can be a work of fiction or an informational piece. Speeches, poems, charts,graphs, letters, legal decisions, or timelines may also be considered as a reading stimulus. The prompt will appear in a text box at the end of the reading stimulus. The students will have to utilize information from the reading stimulus to write their response. The new prompts have a new time limit of one hour.
ACT Battery of Tests (ACT, Plan, Explore)
Students in 8th grade take the Explore test from ACT, and students in 10th grade take the Plan test. The "traditional" ACT test is administered during the school day in the spring of each year to students in grade 11. Additional opportunities are available on Saturdays in various locations to allow students to retake the test several times so that the student can earn the best score possible.
The Explore test (for 8th graders) tests English, Math, Reading, and Science and is designed to gauge college readiness for individual students. The test is 2 hours in length. Sophomores in high school (10th graders) take the Plan test. This test assesses English and Math and is 70 minutes in length. It is designed to gauge individual college readiness. Both the Explore and the Plan assessments are administered during the school day in November.
The ACT, taken by all juniors in high school (11th graders), assesses English, math, reading, science, and writing. These tests are used to measure college readiness and HOPE scholarship eligibility. All TN juniors receive one free voucher for either the ACT or the SAT from their school counselor.
DIBELS is a standardized, individually administered measure of early literacy development that is given 3 times (Benchmark Periods) to students in grades K thru 6 throughout the academic year. Progress monitoring is used between DIBELS testing times to ensure interventions are working.
It is a screening measure but can clearly point to possible roadblocks for literacy development.
These are the skills identified by DIBELS Next as essential for beginning readers to master: