ELA Practice Test 5th Grade + How to Ace the NYS ELA Exam

The NYS English Language Arts (ELA) test is administered to New York public school students in grades 3-8. In this article, we’ll focus specifically on the 5th grade ELA assessment.

Like other NYS tests, the assessment is aligned with the Common Core standards. This is a rigorous set of skills and knowledge that students should master during each school year.

Below, we’ll discuss the content and structure of NYS ELA 5th grade, in addition to providing some useful tips and ELA practice tests 5th grade.

So let’s get started! First, click the button below to get a NYS ELA practice test for your 5th grader. Along with this test, you will also receive a bonus PDF "5 Top Tips to Use Practice Tests Effectively" to help your child study for the test.

NYS ELA Basics

The NYS ELA exams are based on the Common Core Literacy Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.

These include standards related to Reading, Writing, and Language. (Speaking and Listening are also part of Common Core, but they are not assessed on NYS ELA.) Students demonstrate these skills by performing close reads of literary, informational, and paired texts.

Question types include multiple choice, short response, and extended response.

Multiple choice questions assess Reading and Language standards, short response questions primarily measure Reading but also require writing and language skills, and extended response questions assess Writing from Sources. Students must produce a clear and coherent analysis of 1-2 provided texts.

Starting with the NYS ELA test 2016, students were allowed to complete the assessment untimed. This change will apply to the upcoming school year as well.

NYS ELA 5th Grade

For fifth grade students, NYS ELA consists of three “books” administered over three days. Students may take as much time as possible to complete the test, but most students require 80-90 minutes for each book.

The test structure for the NYS ELA 2017 will be the same as the test structure for NYS ELA 2016.

Book 1 consists of five passages and 35 multiple choice questions. It assesses Reading only.

Book 2 assesses both Reading and Writing. It contains one passage with seven multiple choice questions, then two additional passages linked to an extended response question and short responses.

Book 3 assesses Writing only. Students read three passages and answer five short response questions and an extended response.

In total, students will encounter 3-8 literary passages and 3-8 informational texts. For fifth grade students, texts are generally 700-800 words in length.

Question Types

As mentioned previously, there are three question types on NYS ELA:

  • Multiple choice

  • Short response

  • Extended response
  • Multiple choice questions assess Reading and Language Common Core standards. Students must analyze aspects of texts including:

  • Central idea and supporting details

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Main Idea sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Main Idea sample

  • Theme

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  -  Theme sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade -  Theme sample

  • Character development

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Characterization sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Characterization sample

  • Plot development

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Plot Development sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Plot Development sample

  • Figurative language

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Figurative Language sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Figurative Language sample

  • Text structure

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Text Structure sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Text Structure sample

  • Author’s purpose and author/narrator point of view

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Narrator sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Narrator sample

  • Compare/contrast ideas, characters, etc.

  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Comparison sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Comparison sample

  • Summarizing key details
  •   ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Summary sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Summary sample

    Students may also be asked to select evidence from the text that supports their responses and to make inferences based on the information in the text.

      ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Inference sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Inference sample

    Short response questions assess Reading and Language standards. Students read a passage and then respond to a question. In order to answer the question, the student must make an inference about the passage and then support this inference with two pieces of evidence from the text.

    Below are two examples of 5th grade short response questions:

      ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Short Responses 1  sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Short Responses 1  sample

      ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Short Responses 2sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Short Responses 2sample

    Only three complete sentences should be required to answer these questions. Students must be sure to include both evidence from the text and an inference in their own words. Otherwise, full points will not be awarded.

    Finally, extended response questions assess Writing from Sources. Students will analyze either one text or paired texts related by theme, genre, time period, tone, or other characteristics.

      ELA Practice Test 5th Grade  - Extended Response sample

    ELA Practice Test 5th Grade - Extended Response sample

    These responses are evaluated based on Common Core Writing standards (purpose, focus, organization, conventions, etc.) and a student’s ability to defend his or her point with evidence from the text(s).

    Working with ELA practice tests 5th grade can help your child become more accustomed to these question types, leading to a stronger performance on the assessment.

    How to Ace the NYS ELA Exam

    Although the NYS ELA exam is challenging, there are several steps you can take to help your child effectively prepare.

    Keep in mind that both your child’s curriculum and the NYS ELA exam are linked to the Common Core standards. This means what your child is learning in class can be directly applied to the exam.

    For this reason, it’s even more important to encourage your child to complete all classwork and homework, pay attention in class, and ask for help or clarification if needed. You can also communicate with your child’s ELA teacher about your child’s performance in class, in addition to her strengths and weaknesses.

    If your child struggles in Language Arts, you should consider asking the teacher for extra help, hiring a tutor, or taking advantage of any free tutoring programs at your child’s school.

    You can also help your child set a weekly reading goal. This goal can be based on pages or minutes read, and your child should read highly engaging books. Reading frequently will improve reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing abilities, and language skills.

    Lastly, we highly recommend that you help your child work through sample questions and ELA practice tests 5th grade.

    Take time to discuss why right answers are correct and wrong answers are incorrect with your child. Develop strategies that will help your child perform more successfully, and correct any misconceptions you may encounter during these practice sessions.

    To prevent your child from burning out or developing test anxiety, keep practice sessions short, encouraging, and engaging.

    If you follow these tips and use the provided ELA practice test 5th grade, your child should ace the NYS ELA exam!