Tag Archives: Grade Four

2018 ELA and MATH EXAM: If You Live In NYC Why Prepare and How?

NYS ELA and Math Test Preparation 2018

NYS ELA and Math Exams 2018 are approaching and all parents and educators should understand the importance of these exams for our students within the context of the New York City School System. 

For those of you who are new to state testing, State Tests in New York City will be given to students in grades three through eight in April and May 2018. ELA is administered over two days between April 11th –April 13th and Math is administered over two days between May 1st –  May 3rd.

These tests are graded according to rubrics and the scores are typically available in August.

ELA and Math Scores tell us how a student is mastering some aspects of the Common Core Curriculum. They are ONE lens that we as whole child educators use to assess a student; however, the 4th and 7th grade test scores are becoming increasingly important to NYC students because of their use within Middle and High School Admissions. 

Here is a clip from the NYC Middle School Directory for Screened Schools: 

Screened: Students who apply to programs using the Screened Admissions Method are matched based on how the school ranks them. Screened programs rank applicants using factors that may include final report card grades from fourth grade, reading and math standardized test scores, attendance, and punctuality. Some Screened programs have additional requirements like an interview, audition, writing sample, or diagnostic test. To learn more about how a Screened program ranks applicants, contact that school directly.

Here is a clip from the NYC DOE High School Directory: 

Notice how the Audition, Screened, and Educational Options, which are the most competitive types of schools in NYC, all use Standardized Test Scores as part of their admission’s rubrics.

The reason we have developed a robust NYS ELA and MATH Test Preparation Program is because we want to provide students with the best possible route to success on these exams. We want them to have every advantage during the increasingly competitive admissions process here in New York City.

It is true that schools use the standardized test scores along with other admissions criteria; however, as students become more and more aware of the admissions criteria, more and more students are falling within the top sphere. Thus, scores on standardized tests do become a deciding factor when seeking admission at a number of the top level public schools in New York City.

If you want to truly prepare your student for the NYS ELA and MATH EXAM, I urge you to watch our recorded webinar where I explain WHY and HOW students should prepare.

Evolved Education offers students in grades 3 through 8 comprehensive diagnostic exams that serve to understand how a student will perform on the test and what we can do to promote the student given a set of instructional lessons. Many schools will not begin this preparation until weeks before the test. If they do prepare, it is typically not enough and it is not child-centered enough to truly make progress. 

Using our diagnostic exam, we aim to gather information about how well a student is able to answer the common multiple-choice ELA and Math problems for their grade level. We also learn how well they can approach both a short as well as an extended response for ELA and an extended response question for math. We try to vary the math content to gain an understanding of a student’s math abilities, but we also rely on our profile and feedback during the debrief to capture a multi-layered understanding of a student’s abilities.

When considering a test preparation support program, it is paramount for educators and parents to:

1) Understand their students’ abilities

2) Create plans for preparation

3) Assess to evolve their students’ support programs this January 2018 through the test dates


After students complete our diagnostic, we ask them to reflect on their behaviors – we are interested in learning about what reading, writing, and math behaviors they engage in.

Common behaviors for successful readers include:

  • Summarizing/annotating  
  • Tracking the traits and growth of a character
  • Underlining vocabulary
  • Identifying central ideas, main arguments, and themes
  • Tracking text structure and author’s craft
  • Connecting parts of a text to the whole text

 Common behaviors for successful writers include:

  • Reading prompts or questions
  • Providing details from the text to support answers
  • Introducing evidence, making it clear which text (and which part of the text) it comes from, and linking back that evidence to the main idea
  • Understanding the writing process
  • Applying a formula or acronym
  • Understanding and applying the checklists/rubrics  
  • Employing writing skills to construct quality sentences and paragraphs

Common behaviors for successful mathematicians include:

  • Interpreting the question
  • Mathematic aptitude and fluency
  • Ability to explain and show work
  • Understanding the rubrics for math extended response questions
  • Having familiarity with the formula charts provided for each grade level

General test-taking behaviors for all grade three through eight students include:

  • Employing self-regulation strategies
  • Having strategies to cope with anxiety
  • Learning common direction types and practice testing routines


As students work with Evolved Educators, the goals for their preparation program evolve because their educators, who are either Pros, Specialists, or Experts in their respective fields, are able to construct teachable moments and respond to students in real time because they are the drivers of each student’s program.  By understanding the whole child and how he/she/they is performing academically, as well as what behaviors they self-report using, we can create goals for a student to prepare for the test and beyond.

When we create goals, we do so within each area of the paradigm – so we create goals for:

  • Academics

Here we will write what we need to teach or continue to assess within reading, writing or math. We will look at the diagnostic, which is a snapshot of a student’s performance on last year’s exam, as well as the academic history on the profile. Then, we create goals.

  • Learning Skills and Routines

We aim to assess a student’s learning preference (e.g. visual, verbal, kinesthetic…etc.) and help the student to develop a system of learning that works best for him/her/them. We construct this goal by using the profile and it evolves as our tutors work with the students.

  • School Environment

If a student is prepared for a state test at school, we like the student’s preparation program to match that which is done in school.  If a school is not preparing a student for the exams, this is helpful to know too because then the support program must be even more comprehensive.

  • Home Environment

For this goal, we are looking to improve the way the student works at home. Does the student have strong afternoon routines which enable him/her/them to work on both homework and studying as well as practice for these exams? Do we need to partner with the family to help them to support their child? The at-home systems are addressed in this goal, if applicable.

  • Social, Emotional, and Physical Development

Although we do not treat social, emotional or physical issues, we can teach students how to attend to their overall health and well-being. We can also help them to apply certain strategies to overcome anxiety, social distractions, as well as overall lack of confidence. We aim to be observant in these categories and bring to light any concerns we may have about a student’s social, emotional, or physical functioning.

As with each child, Evolved offers a variety of different test preparation services.

From personal 1-to-1, to small group classes, to Diagnostic and Mock Tests, to Simulated Mock Tests for ELA and MATH for Grades Four and Seven, students are able to utilize our highly targeted and personalized programs that best suit their new needs and learning styles.

For more information about Evolved Education’s ELA and Math Test Preparation Tutoring and Diagnostic/Mock Testing, please visit www.evolveded.com, call 917 388 3862 or email Mary Miele at mary@evolveded.com.