The Arizona Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) is an annual statewide test designed to assess student performance in English language arts and mathematics.
The test is fairly new in Arizona, replacing the former state test known as AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards).
For this reason, you may have plenty of questions about AzMERIT, and we’re here to answer them. In this article, we’ll provide key information about AzMERIT, in addition to helpful tips and access to several AzMERIT sample tests.
Understanding this information and reviewing the practice tests found here is a step in the right direction for a successful AzMERIT performance!
Firstly, the Azmerit test can only be found online. If you want your child to practice with a printable PDF of an Azmerit test, your best bet is to download a grade-appropriate Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) as these tests are very similar in content and format as the Azmerit, and are made by the same company (A.I.R. (American Institutes for Research) that creates the Azmerit.
In 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education voted to replace Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) with the new AzMERIT test.
AzMERIT goes beyond basic multiple choice questions to more accurately assess what students have learned during the school year. AzMERIT is also shorter than AIMS, allowing students to devote less time to testing during the school year.
Additionally, AzMERIT allows for score reporting by the end of the school year, unlike the previously used AIMS assessment.
The AzMERIT is administered to students in grades 3-8 annually, testing students on both English language arts and mathematics.
High school students are also required to take AzMERIT end-of-course exams in mathematics and English Language Arts. These tests are administered through Geometry, Algebra I, and Algebra II, as well as English classes in grades 9-11. Currently, the AzMERIT is not a requirement for graduation.
The AzMERIT is a computer-based test, but paper-pencil versions are currently available for schools who feel they don’t yet have the resources to administer the test on computers.
Unlike many state tests, the AzMERIT is untimed, and your student will have as much time as needed to adequately complete the assessment.
AzMERIT scores are divided into four categories: minimally proficient, partially proficient, proficient, and highly proficient. The latter two performance levels are considered “passing.”
The AzMERIT tests Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Below, we’ll explore how each of these three skills are assessed.
Like most reading comprehension tests, the Reading segment of the AzMERIT requires students to read passages and respond to relevant questions.
Students may be asked to:
In some cases, students may be asked to select more than one correct answer.
They may also need to answer two part questions . In the first part, students will answer a regular multiple choice question about the passage. In Part 2, they will select evidence to support their answer to Part 1.
Students are also expected to respond to short answer questions , as in the example below.
As you can see, providing evidence is heavily emphasized in the Reading section of the AzMERIT, so make sure your child understands how to use information in the text to support an answer.
This section of the test also contains editing tasks, which measure student understanding of fundamental skills such as spelling and grammar.
The Reading test is administered in two sections over two days, and each section takes about 45-75 minutes to complete.
To learn more about the Reading test, spend some time reviewing our AzMERIT sample tests with your child.
On the Writing portion of the test, students are provided with a topic and several sources. Students must read the passages and use evidence from the passages in their response to the provided topic.
Students will be assessed on organization, focus, evidence, analysis, and conventions (such as grammar, spelling, and word usage).
It’s important to include information from each of the passages. Additionally, students should provide analysis of all quotes and details from the passage, explaining how the evidence supports the student’s point/claim.
Although untimed, the writing portion of the test generally takes about 45-90 minutes to complete. You can view a sample writing prompt below. To see more prompts, be sure to check out the AzMERIT sample tests we’ve provided.
The AzMERIT Mathematics section assesses both students’ conceptual understanding of math and students’ ability to demonstrate procedural skills.
Depending on grade level, students may answer questions regarding:
Some questions on AzMERIT Math are traditional multiple choice, while others require students to input an answer. In some cases, students will be asked to create an equation, expression, or inequality.
Students may also be required to create graphs and complete tables, as in the examples below.
Like questions on the Reading AzMERIT, some of the math questions will ask students to select multiple correct responses.
This subtest is administered in two portions over two days. On average, each portion requires 60-85 minutes to complete.
Students in grades 3-6 are not permitted to use a calculator on the AzMERIT. For 7th and 8th grade students, a scientific calculator can be used on Part 1 only. High school students may use calculators on both math portions.
Review the provided AzMERIT sample tests to learn more in-depth information about the Math section of the AzMERIT and to view additional sample questions.
How to Take AzMERIT Sample Tests
One of the best ways to prepare for state exams is by working on sample questions and completing practice tests. Fortunately, there are AzMERIT sample tests available online.
To access the tests:
We’re also providing a printable AzMERIT practice test PDF that can be used as an excellent study aid for you and your child.
Additionally, the OHIO AIR tests are very similar to the AzMERIT, and we’re providing these tests for download as well.
The OHIO AIR is Ohio’s current state test (having recently replaced PARCC), and it also focuses on ELA and Math in grades 3-8 and high school.
With all of the available AzMERIT sample tests, you and your child have plenty of resources to adequately prepare and feel confident as test day approaches.
How to Prepare for the AzMERIT
We’ve already mentioned that practice with AzMERIT sample tests is key to building confidence and familiarity with test content, and we’ve pointed to you to some helpful resources such as printable practice tests which are very similar to the Azmerit test.
When you and your child practice using these resources, ensure that your child truly understands why wrong answers are incorrect and right answers are correct. When your child misses a question, work together to develop a better approach to this question type in the future.
If you notice a particular area of weakness, begin focusing future practice sessions on the question type or topic that your child struggles with the most. Gradually, your child should become more skilled in this area.
Your child can also prepare for the test throughout the year by paying attention in school, particularly in English and Math classes. Each teacher’s curriculum is based on skills that mirror the information that will appear on the AzMERIT.
If your child seems to struggle in one of these key classes, consider hiring a tutor or requesting extra help from the teacher.
In general, keeping in contact with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s performance and progress can lead to a better performance on the AzMERIT. You can ask your child’s teacher about strengths and weaknesses, particularly in regards to information that will be tested on the exam.
Reading a certain amount of pages or minutes weekly can help your child develop reading comprehension skills, vocabulary, and even the ability to perform well on AzMERIT editing tasks.
Lastly, help your child have the right attitude about the AzMERIT. Build your child’s confidence, and avoid overemphasizing the test and causing test anxiety. This is not only healthier, but will also help your child perform better on test day.
We hope that by providing these tips, information, and AzMERIT sample tests, we’ve helped you and your child feel more comfortable and confident as test time approaches.