In the state of Georgia, public school students are annually tested with the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS), a set of tests designed to measure student mastery of state-adopted content standards in core areas including English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Testing begins in third grade, so you likely have a lot of questions as you approach your child’s first GMAS test. In this article, we’ll answer your questions, provide tips on preparing, and give you access to Georgia Milestones practice tests 3rd grade.
First click the button below to get a 3rd grade GMAS practice test. 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.
3rd Grade GMAS Test Basics
The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS) was implemented during the 2014-2015 school year, replacing the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) and End of Course Tests (EOCTs).
These new state tests reflect the increased rigor of the updated content standards adopted by the Georgia State Board of Education in 2010.
These standards are based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which outline the skills and knowledge that students across the United States should master at each grade level.
What Subjects Does GMAS Test?
GMAS tests include end of year tests in English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies, as well as end of course exams for ten high school courses.
Your third grader, however, will only be tested in English Language Arts and mathematics at the end of the school year.
Are GMAS Tests Multiple Choice?
GMAS tests have three question types:
In addition, all GMAS ELA tests include two extended written responses: an opinion essay and an informational essay. These essays require students to read two passages and incorporate information from both passages in their response to the provided prompt.
What is a “Good Score” on the GMAS Tests?
There are four achievement levels for each GMAS test:
In order to be promoted to fourth grade, third grade students must demonstrate that they are reading at grade level or above on the GMAS ELA test.
Most students who are reading below grade level will score in the Beginning Learner category or at the lower end of the Developing Learner category.
However, reading level is reported as a separate score labeled “Below Grade Level” or “Grade Level or Above.” These labels are derived from student performance on the reading portion of the ELA test and are based on the linkage of the Lexile scale to Georgia Milestones.
Is GMAS Testing Computer-Based or Paper-Pencil?
Currently, most Georgia school districts administer computer-based GMAS tests. The Georgia Department of Education has stated that computer testing is the primary mode of administration, with paper-pencil testing serving as back up.
By the 2018-2019 school year, all GMAS testing will be computer-based.
3rd Grade GMAS ELA
The 3rd grade ELA test consists of 60 questions divided into three sections. Sections 1 and 2 are administered on Day 1, and students have 75 minutes to complete each section.
The final section is administered on the following day, and students are given 90 minutes to complete Section 3.
There are two domains assessed on this exam:
On the reading section, students read both fictional passages (including stories and poems) and informational texts.
Your child should be able to:
Students are also expected to demonstrate the use of proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage, both in writing and by correctly answering multiple choice questions related to conventions.
Writing skills will be assessed through both extended constructed responses and essays.
The extended constructed response questions ask students to use narrative techniques such as completing a story, writing an alternate ending, or adding dialogue.
For the opinion essay, students will be asked their opinion on a specific issue or topic. They will read two passages related to the topic and be asked to write a brief essay stating their opinion, using information from both passages in their response.
The informational essay is similar, but students do not need to provide an opinion. Instead, students respond to a prompt by summarizing information and research from two provided passages.
To achieve a high score, essays must be well-organized, use information and evidence from both texts that support a student’s own ideas, and demonstrate command of appropriate language conventions.
This is a rigorous test, but there are plenty of helpful resources available. You can go over the GMAS study guide with your child and/or use Georgia Milestones practice tests to help your child build familiarity and confidence with test content.
3rd Grade GMAS Mathematics
The GMAS Mathematics test contains 73 questions divided into two 85-minute sections. Questions included selected responses, constructed responses, and extended constructed responses.
Questions fall into the following four categories:
Below, we’ll take a look at the skills needed to successfully answer questions in each category.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
Students should demonstrate the following skills:
Numbers and Operations
Your child should be able to:
Measurement and Data
Third grade students are expected to:
At the third grade level, students should be able to
Like the GMAS ELA exam, this is a rigorous assessment. Don’t forget to check out the Georgia Milestones practice tests 3rd grade and spend time practicing and preparing with your third grader.
Additionally, advise your child to at least attempt every question. Students can receive partial credit for attempting math problems or for completing at least one step correctly.
How to Ace the GMAS
First, keep in mind that the skills tested on GMAS exams are based on the same skills outlined in the curriculum of Georgia teachers. This means it’s crucial for your child to pay attention in class, take notes, and complete classwork and homework, particularly in the key areas of mathematics and ELA.
If your child struggles in one of these core subjects, consider asking the teacher for extra help or hiring a tutor. Many schools also offer tutoring before or after school, so take full advantage of these free programs if needed.
To prepare for the ELA exam, your child should read every day. Try to set a goal for your child to read a certain amount of pages or minutes weekly. Find books or passages that are of high interest.
Your child should also practice responding in writing to texts he or she has read. Have your child practice using complete sentences and mentioning specific details from the reading(s).
Lastly, one of the most effective ways to prepare is by utilizing the Georgia Milestones practice tests 3rd grade. These free resources can help your child feel confident and prepared heading into the test.
Be sure to discuss why right answers are correct and wrong answers are incorrect, and help your child develop the best strategies and approaches to solving various question types.
We hope that we’ve helped you and your child feel more comfortable as your first GMAS test approaches. By following these tips and studying with the Georgia Milestones practice test 3rd grade, you’re setting your child up for success on the GMAS.