Free NECAP Practice Test

The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) is given to students in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The program started in 2005 when students in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont began participating; students in Maine began participating in 2009. The assessment meets federal requirements set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act. The NECAP was developed as a collaborative project of the departments of education from the first three participating states. All states will soon be phasing over to the Common Core standards.

The assessment includes tests in reading and mathematics for those in grades 3 through 8 as well as a writing assessment for those in grades 5 and 8. While many state standardized tests are given in the second half of the school year, and thus are designed to include measurements of knowledge or skills students were to have obtained that year, the NECAP is designed to assess learning from the prior year. This means that students in the third grade are being tested on what they are expected to have learned through the second grade.

All publicly funded students are required to take the NECAP. School districts can set the exact dates on which the exams will be provided, though schools are encouraged to consider religious holidays as well as local events that may affect students' abilities to participate in the NECAP.

Most of the various assessments consist of a combination of multiple-choice questions and constructed-response questions. The multiple-choice questions are worth a single point and the constructed-responses questions are worth 4 points. Some mathematics sections also include short answer questions that worth either 1 or 2 points. Writing sessions, in addition to the multiple-choice and constructed-response questions, also contain a single extended response prompt that is worth 12 points. The maximum score students can score in each assessment is 52 in reading, 65 or 66 in mathematics (depending on the grade level), and 34 in writing. For the mathematics assessment, the subcategories covered include numbers and operations, geometry and measurement, functions and algebra, and data, statistics, and probability. All of these subcategories are covered at each grade level, though the proportion with which each subcategory is covered varies from grade to grade.

Students will be given one of four achievement levels for each assessment: proficient with distinction, proficient, partially proficient, or substantially below proficient. Those who score proficient with distinction make few errors and do not display any gaps in prerequisite knowledge and skills. Those who score proficient demonstrate minor gaps in the knowledge and skills aligned at their grade level, though these gaps can likely be addressed during typical classroom instruction. Partially proficient students demonstrate gaps in knowledge and skills and may need additional instructional support other than what's provided in a normal classroom setting. For those who score substantially below proficient, it is definitely necessary that they receive additional instructional support, as they demonstrate significant gaps in knowledge and skills.

For the reading test, those who are given the achievement level of proficient with distinction means they show an ability to read and comprehend text that is appropriate for their grade level. They can also offer insightful observations about a provided passage that are supported by references within the text. They show a wide variety of vocabulary knowledge. For the mathematics test, those with an achievement level of proficient with distinction demonstrate logical reasoning using both words and appropriate mathematical notation. Their work includes a high level of accuracy and an ability to move from concrete to abstract representations. Those with the highest achievement level in writing show an ability to respond to a writing task with both clarity and insight, and they use strong organizational structures while sentence structures and language choices are both used effectively but also varied to an extent.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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