Beginning in third grade, New York public school students are annually assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. These exams are aligned with Common Core standards, a rigorous set of skills and knowledge students should master at each grade level.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the NYS ELA exam for 6th grade students. We’ll provide information, tips, sample questions, and an ELA practice test 6th grade to help you and your child prepare.
So let’s get started! First, click the button below to get a NYS ELA practice test for your 6th 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
While all NYS exams are linked to Common Core standards, the ELA test is specifically based on the Common Core Literacy Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.
These standards focus on Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, and Language. However, NYS ELA does not assess Listening and Speaking, focusing instead on Reading, Writing, and Language.
Students demonstrate these skills by performing close reads of literary, informational, and paired texts. Students then answer questions assessing their ability to comprehend and analyze these passages, as well as their ability to write clearly, coherently, and with strong supporting evidence.
Question types include multiple choice, short response, and extended response.
Multiple choice questions assess Reading and Language standards, short response questions mostly measure Reading but also require writing and language skills, and extended response questions evaluate Writing from Sources.
As of the NYS ELA test 2016, students were allowed to complete the assessment untimed. This change will continue into the 2017 testing season.
NYS ELA 6th Grade
For sixth grade students, the NYS ELA assessment includes three “books” administered over three separate days.
The test format for the NYS ELA test 2017 will mirror the format for the NYS ELA test 2016.
Book 1 will contain five reading passages with a total of 35 multiple choice questions.
Book 2 will consist of one reading passage with seven multiple choice questions and two additional passages with two short response questions and one extended response question.
Book 3 will include three passages accompanied by five short response questions and one extended response question.
In total, students will read 3-7 literary passages and 6-8 informational passages. For sixth grade students, passages typically total 750-850 words.
We mentioned above that there are three question types on NYS ELA:
The multiple choice questions are used to assess the Common Core’s Reading and Language standards. Students must read passages and analyze aspects of texts such as:
Short response questions are similar in content to the multiple choice questions, but students must write their response instead of selecting a provided choice.
These questions require students to make an inference about the text and then identify two pieces of textual evidence that support their claim. No more than three sentences should be required to answer these questions.
Below are two examples of 6th grade short response questions.
Students must ensure that their response includes both evidence from the text and an inference written in their own words. Otherwise, students will not receive full points.
The extended response questions assess Writing from Sources. Students must analyze either one text or paired texts related by theme, genre, time period, tone, or other characteristics. A prompt is provided to guide student responses.
These responses are then scored using Common Core writing standards related to focus, organization, evidence and elaboration, and language conventions.
Although these questions aren’t easy, working with ELA practice tests 6th grade can help your child head into the test feeling confident and prepared.
How to Ace the NYS ELA Exam
The NYS ELA exam is a rigorous test, but you don’t need to be intimidated. There are plenty of ways you can help your child effectively prepare to ace the exam.
It’s always important for your child to pay attention in school, but this is even more critical when state testing is on the line. The NYS ELA exam is linked to Common Core, and so is your child’s English Language Arts curriculum.
For this reason, you should encourage your child to complete all classwork and homework, take notes, and ask for help or clarification as needed in Language Arts.
If your child struggles, you can ask the teacher for extra help, hire a tutor, or take advantage of any free tutoring programs offered by your child’s school. You can also ask the teacher for feedback on your child’s strengths and weaknesses and overall performance in class.
It’s also a good idea to help your child set a weekly reading goal. This reading goal can be based on pages or minutes read, and your child should read literature that she finds engaging. Reading frequently can improve reading comprehension, writing, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
To prepare for any assessment, it’s helpful to view sample questions and complete practice tests. Take advantage of the available ELA practice tests 6th grade to help your child prepare.
Discuss both right and wrong answers with your child. For correct answers, reinforce strong, logical thinking. For incorrect answers, ensure your child understands why the answer was incorrect, and take some time to correct any misconceptions. You can also discuss better approaches to this question type in the future.
To prevent your child from feeling burnt out or developing test anxiety, keep practice sessions brief, engaging, and encouraging. Avoid overemphasizing the test.
Using the tips here and studying with the ELA practice tests 6th grade can help your child ace the NYS ELA!