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Understanding the Alaska Measures of Progress Tests
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2016 16:38 PM

According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, the state has a new set of standardized testing. The exams, called the Alaska Measures of Progress Tests, should help students prepare for college and careers. 

AMP testing
Students will take the AMP tests to show their skills in English language arts and mathematics. These exams cover a total of 140 questions and are not timed. Individual schools can decide to give the two tests on the same day, separate days or even break them into smaller sections of 15 or 25 questions per sitting. There is also an alternative exam available for students who have learning disabilities or are English language learners. Schools with ample technology will proctor the tests online, while others may offer paper exams. 

Test questions
The AMP tests are not simple multiple-choice exams. Instead, they require students to use problem-solving skills and multitasking to fully grasp concepts and explain their answers. Teachers spend the year readying their classes for the exams by providing information and skills that the kids will encounter on the tests. Parents can also help students prepare by having their children take practice tests. These online examples offer questions to familiarize students with the testing format and alleviate exam anxiety. 

Scoring
The scores students receive on the AMP do not affect the grades they earn during the regular school year. The 2015 testing scores are the baseline comparison for future testing, as that was the first year students participated in AMP testing. Students will fail, meet some standards, pass or exceed. These scores correlate with whether the kids are ready to move to the next grade level and eventually on to postsecondary education. 




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