A Guide to Start Strong Testing


Bill Le

Start Strong Fall Testing is a yearly assessment test that schools across the state of New Jersey take during the months of September and October. According to the New Jersey Department of Education, the purpose of these assessments follow,  “Start Strong provides a data point to support the curriculum and instructional planning. Start Strong reports provide both student-level and item-level information.” In simple terms, these assessments are both for the students to understand where they are at in certain topics and help evaluate their understanding. For teachers, it provides a quota i.e a baseline for what is necessary to teach. 

Now taking this test isn’t like a normal test, multiple factors of a student’s day are adjusted and modified. Some of the upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) may already know how this works but most have probably forgotten and this leaves the Freshman clueless about how this works. So let’s break it down. On Tuesday there will be the ELA assessment taken by freshman and sophomores, then on Wednesday anyone currently taking Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 (including honors) will be participating in the math assessment, and finally, freshman and seniors will be taking the Science assessment on Thursday. Anyone not taking the test will go about their day normally (besides some schedule changes mentioned later). For those taking the test, when entering the building, please refer to the list posted outside of the main office showing where each student’s designated testing room is. Once students arrive at their testing room be prepared to follow the instructions given by your instructor. The assessment will last the first 2 periods of the day. Now the most confusing part to remember is the new schedule adjustments that will happen which will affect all students regardless of taking their test. With an exception of Tuesday, the class periods will be a little mixed up and swapped. Please refer to the image below to see what this refers to. 

Now that students have a basic understanding of how this works, hopefully, students will be able to manage the new temporary schedule change and adjustments of the week. As a reminder, this is not going into the grade book but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try; this test is meant to help you and your teacher so try your best but don’t stress over it too much. With that being said, good luck on the test, and remember to Start Strong!