Fourth grade students enrolled in public school in the United States share at least one common experience: state testing in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Although these students don’t all take the same test, there are two state tests that are particularly common, and all fourth grade students are tested on similar skills.
In this article, we’ll focus on ELA state exams that fourth graders take, and provide a printable practice 4th grade ELA test. You can download the test by clicking the button below.
In addition to receiving the practice test, we will also send you a bonus PDF "5 Proven Test Prep Strategies for Using Practice Tests" to help you develop a study plan.
In this article, we’ll also discuss the most popular ELA state tests, give you tips for success, and provide a printable ELA practice test 4th grade.
What 4th Grade ELA State Test Will My Child Take?
The test your child will take depends on your location. However, most current English Language Arts state tests measure very similar skills.
The majority of 4th grade ELA state tests are at least loosely based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of national standards for ELA and Mathematics that are designed to prepare students for college and careers.
Two state tests in particular were designed to be linked to CCSS: PARCC and SBAC. Both the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) received funds from the Department of Education for this purpose.
PARCC states include:
SBAC members include:
Again, even if you’re not in an SBAC or PARCC state, your child’s 4th grade ELA state test will likely measure skills that are related to CCSS. Florida, for example, administers the FSA, which is extremely similar to PARCC.
Common Core English Language Arts
So what exactly are the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts?
According to CCSS, 4th grade students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
The majority of 4th grade ELA state tests will ask questions designed to test mastery of some or all of these skills.
One major focus of ELA CCSS is the ability to provide evidence to support claims. As a result, many ELA state tests ask two-part questions. In Part 1, students answer a multiple choice question. In Part 2, students select details from the text that support their answer to Part 1.
As you can see from the Common Core sample questions grade 4 above, CCSS expects students to not only comprehend a text, but thoroughly analyze it as well. To view more Common Core sample questions grade 4, be sure to check out the printable ELA practice test 4th grade.
PARCC ELA 4th Grade
One of the most commonly used 4th grade ELA state tests is the PARCC. The PARCC test is computer-based and is divided into three sections called “units.” Fourth grade students are given 90 minutes for each of the three units.
Students respond to questions about both fiction and nonfiction passages, and they may also listen to audio or watch video. In some cases, they will be required to synthesize and integrate information from two texts into a written response.
There are three major question types on PARCC exams:
On some multiple choice questions, students may be asked to select multiple correct answers.
The PARCC test is known for being rigorous, but keep in mind that your child will be preparing for this test and practicing these skills throughout the school year. Extra preparation at home with a PARCC practice test 4th grade is also extremely helpful.
SBAC ELA 4th Grade
The SBAC test is administered via a computer adaptive test. The computer adaptive test, unlike most standardized tests, adjusts the difficulty of questions based on a child’s responses.
If a student misses many questions, the questions will become less difficult. If a student answers the majority of questions correctly, questions will increase in difficulty. This allows the SBAC to provide a more accurate score than a test that asks every student the same set of questions.
The SBAC test is untimed, but the 4th grade ELA test is estimated to take about 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
Test questions fall into the following four categories:
Students are assessed with multiple choice questions, brief writes, and a Performance Task. The Performance Task is scored based on focus/purpose, evidence/elaboration, and conventions. The task involves reading sources, taking purposeful notes, and then writing and revising a response to a given topic.
Students also complete a Performance Task in which they will explore a topic, issue, or complex problem and interpret, analyze, and synthesize related information from a variety of sources.
Students will be asked three research questions about the materials and will be given a writing task requiring them to respond to a prompt or problem.
Like the PARCC, the SBAC is a challenging test. It helps to practice with an SBAC ELA practice test. Your child’s teacher will also provide guidance throughout the school year.
How to Prepare: 5 Tips to Ace the ELA State Test
No matter which 4th grade ELA state test your child takes, the following tips can help:
The information and tips provided here, plus the printable ELA practice test 4th grade, should put your child on the right track for success on the 4th grade ELA state test.