New Jersey State Assessments

  • Annual Parental Notification of Student Assessment

    NJ State Testing Parental Notification of Planned Statewide Assessment

    Dear Parents and/or Guardians,

    Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-6.6, school districts are required each year by October 1 to provide notification to parents and guardians regarding information on any state assessment or commercially developed standardized assessment that will be administered in the school district during the current school year. It is important to note that all students may not be administered all assessments.

    Specifically, we are required to share the following:

    • The subject area of the assessment and grade levels covered by the assessment;
    • The date or range of potential dates for the administration of the assessment;
    • The time allotted for the student to take and complete the assessment;
    • Any accommodations or accessibility options available to students;
    • Information on how and when the student and his/her parent or guardian can access both sample questions and answers to the assessment and the student's results; and
    • Whether the assessment is required by the State or federal government, or both.

    All of the above-listed information can be found within the District Assessment Plan for 2022-2023.

    Updated Graduation Information from NJDOE

    Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 - 2025 Graduation Information


    Dear Parents and/or Guardians,

    The NJDOE has waived, for the Class of 2023, all assessment requirements for graduation from High School.  Students still must satisfy all credit and local requirements, such as attendance, for graduation.  Please see the linked memo from the NJDOE regarding this announcement.  Contact your student's counselor if you have any questions regarding this.  

    NJDOE Broadcast regarding Graduation in 2023.  


    Dear Parents and/or Guardians,

    The NJDOE has updated their websites to better outline and explain how students in the Class of 2022 and 2023-2025 will achieve graduation from high school.  Please click on the link below for more information.  One major point that all should be aware of for the Class of 2023 - 2025 is that participation in the NJGPA is mandatory for graduation. Students will not have further pathways available to them unless the NJGPA has not only been attempted but the student is then remediated and tries a second time the following Summer or Fall.   Click here to go to the NJDOE's website and more infomration. Please contact your students'counselor if you have any questions regarding this.  

    Previous Updates from NJDOE:

    The State of NJ in a boardcast last year indicated the the Start Strong Assessment will be mandatory and held in the begining of the school year.  The individual student results will be used only for school planning purposes and remediation.  For further information visit NJDOE's Assessment Information Page.  The dates for this assessment will be September 13th - October 22, 2021.  As of this post, August 25th, 2021, the NJDOE plans to run a typical NJSLA testing Spring Block.  Key dates and information are in the Parental Notification table above.  

    Information for Parents on Start Strong

    Spring 2021 NJSLA Assessment Waiver Approved

    In an annoucement today, April 14th, 2021, the NJDOE has advised school districts that their application for assessment flexibility has been approved by the US Department of Eduation.  This means that the Spring 2021 NJSLA Assessments are cancelled.  They advise that the ACCESS for ELLs and DLM testing is still a mandatory requirement for this school year.  The annoucement goes on to clarify that what will happen instead is a mandatory administration of the Fall Piloted Start Strong Assesment.  This will have an administration window of September 13th through October 22 of 2021.  This will be in conjection with the typical NJSLA Spring Adminsitration in 2022.  Please see the full memo linked below.

    NJSLA Flexibility Waiver Approved   

    Spring 2021 Statewide Assessment Waiver Status

    As of this date, March 29, 2021, the US Department of Education has not yet granted any of New Jersey's Testing Flexibility Waivers.  This means that as of April 5, 2021 we must begin the process of Statewide Assessments in ACCESS for ELLs. NJSLA, and DLM.  The testing widows for these are linked below this annoucement.  There is still time for a waiver to be granted, however due to the deadline to begin approaching Districts across the state are preparing to adminster the federally mandated testing.  There will be more information to follow.    

    Link to the Testing Window's established by NJDOE for 2021

    Spring 2021 Statewide Assessment Postponement

    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) recognizes that the disruption to education due to the COVID19 pandemic persists as schools and districts prepare for the spring 2021 assessment administration. While the United States Department of Education (USED) has not indicated that it will allow states to waive their statewide assessment obligations for the 2020-2021 school year, the NJDOE has heard requests from many stakeholders to explore all options regarding flexibilities prior to administering the statewide assessment systems. To further explore options, including flexibilities regarding the use of statewide assessment data in federal accountability systems – and to ease the burden of preparing for and administering assessments while these options evolve – the NJDOE is postponing the planned start date of all assessments and plans to begin statewide assessment administration no earlier than April 5, 2021

    Full Memo from the State Re: Assessment Postponement

    Spring 2021 New Jersey Student Learning Assessments English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science

    Important Activities and Key Dates This memorandum provides districts with the key dates and information to assist with preparation for administering the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) statewide assessment program in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science for the spring of 2021. At this time, the United States Department of Education has not indicated that there will be any form of waiver of states’ statewide assessment obligations for the 2020-2021 school year.

    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) recognizes that the disruption to education due to the COVID19 pandemic persists as schools and districts prepare for the spring 2021 assessment administration. To provide greater flexibility to educators and districts, the NJDOE will provide the option to administer the NJSLA remotely during the spring 2021 assessment administration, which runs from March 15, 2021 to June 11, 2021. The NJDOE will provide guidance and supports for both in-person and remote administrations of the NJSLA for the spring of 2021 through trainings and resources outlined below. Any updates to administration procedures will be shared with the public as soon as possible.

    Full Memo from the State Re: Spring Testing

    Key Dates Released


    The Office of Assessments is pleased to announce that the suite of Start Strong snapshot assessments and related resources are now available through PearsonAccessnext  and the NJSLA Resource Center. As shared in the Fall 2020 Academic and Instructional Supports Broadcast memo, these assessment tools can provide educators with an early indication of the level of support students may need for this year. Districts that administer these assessments are encouraged to share the results with students, families, and educators. The information should be used in conjunction with other measures to identify some potential gaps in students’ understanding of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). These supports are available to all New Jersey school districts at no cost as an optional resource to be used for in-class feedback and support.  

    For more information on these supports, please reference the September 25, 2020 broadcast titled “Start Strong Assessments Now Available for Fall 2020.”

    Start Strong Assessments: Presentation

    Start Strong Assessment Overview

    Start Strong assessments are based on prior-year academic standards. They are available in:

    • English language arts (ELA) grades 4-10,
    • Mathematics grades 4-8, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and
    • Science grades 6, 9, and 12.

    Testing Window

    Each Start Strong assessment is designed to be administered in approximately 45-60 minutes to an entire class or grade level and will provide immediate results. The ELA, mathematics, and science assessments can be administered at any time, remotely or in-person, from their release on September 28, 2020 until December 14, 2020.

    Additional Supports and Information

    In addition to Start Strong assessments, the NJDOE is providing Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Instructionally Embedded (IE) assessments for students with the most significant intellectual disabilities who participate in the DLM assessment program, and for English language learners who participate in the WIDA remote screener for English Language Learner (ELL) identification. The NJDOE is also offering related curriculum, instruction, and professional learning supports that can be found in the Fall Academic and Instructional Supports Broadcast memo.  


    The Office of Assessments is seeking feedback to continuously improve new tools and resources for the New Jersey education community. If you have feedback on any of the assessment supports released for the Fall of 2020, please consider sharing your thoughts using the link below. Information regarding additional virtual feedback opportunities will be posted here in the coming weeks.

    Statewide Assessment Program

    The assessment supports provided for Fall 2020 are not replacements for New Jersey’s statewide summative assessment program, which includes the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA), the DLM assessments, the ACCESS for ELLs assessments, and the related federal and state reporting and accountability requirements. The assessment tools discussed above, designed to be brief and flexibly administered, are not intended to meet the strict uniform administration standards required to support federal or state accountability, reporting requirements, or comparisons between student populations across the state.

    The NJDOE will continue to closely monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep school administrators and educators apprised of new information regarding statewide assessments.


    Historical Background

    New Jersey has administered statewide assessments since the 1970s, and over the years, the testing program has evolved. It began as a measure of basic skills, and after 1996, it has assessed the state's academic standards. In 2001, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, every state was required to test students in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in grades 3 to 8 and grade 11. That mandate is still in effect under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.

    In 2010, New Jersey adopted new, high-quality standards which changed the expectations in ELA and mathematics to emphasize higher-order thinking skills and not just memorizing information. In May 2016, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted revisions to the mathematics and ELA standards and renamed all areas of the state's academic standards the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

    In the 2014-15 school year, New Jersey transitioned from its former assessments to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in mathematics and English language arts. The PARCC assessments more accurately measure the higher-level skills developed under the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and provide parents and educators with meaningful information to improve teaching and learning.

    Starting in 2015, districts began to distribute annual PARCC student score reports to parents. There are resources on this assessment site to assist with interpreting individual score reports that can give parents a common language to use in discussions with teachers about their child's progress.

    The adoption of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science (NJSLS-S) in July 2014 initiated an overhaul of science education in New Jersey and the replacement of the former statewide science assessments – The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge Science (NJASK), the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT), and the Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) – with an assessment aligned to the state standards.

    Starting in 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education requires that all science assessments be field tested in grades 5, 8, and 11.  The spring 2018 administration of high school science assessments, both the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment Science (NJSLA-S) and the Dynamic Learning Map (DLM) in science will be administered.  In the spring of 2019 these science assessments will again be administered and results of testing will begin the baseline year results.