NJGPA: What It Is and How to Prepare

NJGPA: What It Is and How to Prepare

This March, all Juniors at not only Becton Regional, but across the state of New Jersey, will be taking the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment. The NJGPA is a test that the State Board of Education is to administer. Our Juniors will be taking the test this coming March 13-17.

Students must still meet all the other State and local graduation requirements, including but not limited to credit, curriculum, and attendance requirements. The state also notes that the graduation assessment requirements for the classes of 2024 and 2025 remain in place.

The NJGPA is a rather daunting test and can cause students to feel overwhelmed when thinking about it or preparing for it– due to the pressure of the requirement to pass for graduation. Many students may also feel additional stress and pressure because there is no concrete way to study for the test, as the questions are randomized, but there is no need to be nervous– just do your best! The information given about the tests by the state of New Jersey is that the Mathematics and English portions of the test are broken into two units each. The Math portion is based on Algebra I with a calculator section and a non-calculator section. On the other hand, the English section contains multiple-choice Part A and Part B Evidence-Based Responses– (EBSR), Technology Enhanced Constructed Responses (TECR) and two Prose-Constructed Responses– which are essentially essays where students need to synthesize 2-3 texts. A helpful source for Test-Taking Reading Strategies that can be useful for either discipline can be found here.

Although there is no exact study guide for the NJGPA, there are tools that can help students feel more prepared and at ease when taking the test. For example, LinkIt benchmark tests that are taken various times throughout the year by all grades, are very good indicators of how the NJGPA is and how students will do. LinkIt is a very basic standardized test platform that allows both teachers and students to track their progress of standardized testing throughout the year. Additionally, Becton has taken a further step to personalize the standardized test experience to help students improve their test scores. If students’ scores are lower than the required average, they can be placed in a supplementary class that will improve their scores and help them do better on future Linkits and ultimately the NJGPA. Many Math and English teachers at Becton are also offering reviews during class just a few weeks before the NJGPA to help students become familiar with newer topics that may be on the test, as well as past ones. Teachers are also able to administer LinkIt assessments to individual classes.

Mr. Robert Di Domenico, District Supervisor of Curriculum, also gives a great source for practicing on the NJGPA, “My-Pearson-Support has a great online website with practice tests that allow students to complete tests similarly formatted to the NJGPA, and the website will auto-grade the tests for you. Once you receive your grade, students can ask their Math and English teachers for guidance and assistance to review the test.” These are the provided tests from the New Jersey Assessment Resource Center Here— which students can also access on their own.

While students may question that test taking is not a fair or reliable way to assess their attributes, testing is still a crucial part of college admissions. Although tests such as the SAT and the ACTs have been used by universities and colleges alike, many schools are starting to shy away from test scores and using a more holistic approach to admissions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic many schools have stopped requiring test scores as a part of their admissions. While this is true for some schools, not all schools have done away with testing for admissions, which is why the NJGPA is another way to help prepare students for standardized tests that play an integral part in their academic career.

The NJGPA does not have to be intimidating. With the determination and support from staff and teachers at Becton, and the hard-work and dedication of the students, the class of 2024 and beyond is sure to have a positive and successful testing experience.

For more information about the test, please visit https://nj.mypearsonsupport.com/njgpa.