State Testing: End-of-Year Exams

Why Parents and Students Should Care About Testing

Why do we test? Testing has always been integral to education. Assessments inform instruction by helping teachers know if educational goals are being met. They’re an indicator of what’s working in the classroom and what can be done differently. Testing also gives parents an independent measure of their child’s learning, answering the question: Is my child on target and doing well compared to his or her peers? Six reasons why assessment matters.

Which tests do Utah’s students take?
Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, RISE will replace SAGE as Utah’s computer adaptive standards assessment for students in grades 3-8. Students in grades 9-10 will participate in high school assessments that provide a predictive score for their anticipated performance on the ACT college-entrance exam. These tests provide a baseline for student learning, while ensuring that student proficiency and growth reflect what they know and can do. A brochure describing Utah’s RISE exams can be found on the Utah State Board of Education’s website. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the new testing platform here.

How should students prepare for the test?  Practice for the test is the instruction students receive throughout the school year—the skills and knowledge they acquire each day. There are a few things, however, families can do to prepare for test day at home:     
•  Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast.
•  Make the morning of testing as relaxing as possible by arriving to school on time.
•  Encourage children to focus and pace themselves without rushing. It’s important to take your time, and read each question carefully.
•  Remind children that if the test questions seem hard, that means they’re doing well. Just like the ACT college entrance exam, the RISE test is computer adaptive, which means it adapts to the examinee’s abilities by proposing harder questions when a student gets something correct, and easier questions when the student gives a wrong answer.

What do teachers say about year-end tests? Check out our video testimonials.

How much time do students spend taking tests? A Canyons District audit performed in 2017 revealed students spend between 1.2 percent to 2.7 percent of the school year taking state and district assessments. By comparison, at one of CSD's elementary schools, recess accounts for 4.5 percent of the year, 12 percent is devoted to lunch and math instruction occupies 27.3 percent of the year.

How do I access my child’s test scores? Students and parents can access test results via Canyons District’s secure Skyward system. After logging in, click on the “State Testing” tab to view RISE and ASPIRE reports, which are updated each summer. Need help? Contact your school’s main office or visit the Skyward tutorial page.

Is it possible to take a practice test? Yes. Visit the State Office of Education's RISE portal and click on the Online Question Sampler box.

Resources for Principals: A toolkit for conveying information about state testing to your school communities. State-testing resources for schools.