Online testing has taken over North Dakota. Along with knowing the subject matter, today’s students need to be equipped with virtual test-taking skills in order to do well on North Dakota State Assessments (NDSA).
NDSA practice test sessions can help sharpen these skills — but before you dive into those, let’s take a look at North Dakota State Assessments and make sure we understand exactly why virtual NDSA practice tests are so beneficial.
What Is an NDSA Test?
North Dakota State Assessments (NDSA) are annual summative tests that cover mathematics, English language arts, and science. The statewide assessments measure student learning against the state learning standards. Developed under contract with Cambium Assessment (formerly known as AIR), NDSA tests are administered online.
NDSA tests cover the following subjects and grade levels:
- English language arts (grades 3–8, 10)
- Mathematics (grades 3–8, 10)
- Science (grades 4, 8, 10)
Previously, North Dakota provided the ACT test for all juniors (11th grade students) in the state, but beginning in 2021, public school districts will decide whether or not to use the ACT as their high school measure for accountability. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction will cover the costs for districts that elect to use the ACT.
North Dakota high school students are also required to take the North Dakota Civics Test in order to graduate.
Students with disabilities may qualify to take the North Dakota Alternate Assessment (NDAA) instead of the NDSA. NDAA uses the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment system, which is instructionally embedded and involves short testlets given to students throughout the school year, rather than only at the end of the school year. NDAA is for students who have the most significant cognitive disabilities.
English language learners in North Dakota take the ACCESS for ELLs annually, beginning in Kindergarten. The English language proficiency assessment measures acquisition of academic English language skills. It’s administered on paper for Kindergarten English learners and only for all other grades.
Most of these tests are administered online by default, and many offer digital accommodations for students who need them.
The testing windows for NDSA usually runs from mid-March to early-May. Visit the state website to view this year’s testing windows.
How to Use the NDSA Practice Tests to Prep Your Students
Online tests like NDSA require skills that old-fashioned ScanTron bubble tests did not. Gone are number two pencils. Instead, students need to manipulate keyboard and mouse or touchpad or touchscreen to navigate from question to question and provide their answers. Your students likely spend a lot of time on digital devices, but how much time do they spend in virtual testing environments?
To make sure your students are ready for NDSA tests, give them opportunities in class to practice those digital test-taking skills. With a few NDSA practice tests, your students will learn the sort of content and questions they’re likely to encounter on the real test — and they’ll learn the ins and outs of test features like drag-and-drop, graph building, and table filling. When they encounter a technology-enhanced question on the real NDSA test, they won’t be caught off-guard.
Along with building and honing the skills needed to ace the real test, virtual practice sessions help students gain confidence for test day. Use Edulastic, and you and your students will be able to gain real-time insights into their strengths and weaknesses. What learning standards are they struggling with? What have they mastered? Edulastic can provide those answers and inform the rest of your practice time.
For an additional bonus, have your students practice on the same device they’ll use for the real test. This way, they’ll know exactly how the testing technology works on their device, whether it’s a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
The NDSA Practice Test Is Available in Edulastic
NDSA practice sessions are easy in Edulastic. We’ve already uploaded practice NDSA test content, so all you have to do is set up a free account and you’ll be ready to welcome your students into their first practice test session.
Edulastic mimics the look and feel of the real NDSA practice test, so your students will become comfortable and familiar with how testing technology works — and be more than ready when test day rolls around.
Ready to get started?