NY State Science Test

Who takes this test?

New for school year 2020-21: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has determined that it will not be possible to administer Grades 3–8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics exams and the Grades 4 and 8 Science exams remotely. Assessments will be school-based and in-person. Schools will reach out to families to determine which students are interested in participating in state exams. Only students whose families have replied with a request to test will participate in the Spring 2021 exams.

Students in grade four, and most students in grade eight, take the State Assessment in Science to determine how well they have learned the New York State Learning Standards. 

Students in Grade seven who have completed all of the material in the Intermediate-Level Science Core Curriculum, and who are under consideration for placement in an accelerated high school level science course in grade eight, may also take the test. If students take the test in grade seven, they will not take it again in grade eight. School principals have the discretion to either require or waive the grade eight Science Test for accelerated grade eight students who will take a Regents Examination in science at the end of the school year. 

English Language Learners in grades four and eight must take the State Assessment in Science. Exams are available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (traditional & simplified), Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, or Spanish. When tests are not available in the student's native language, the test may be translated orally. Students with disabilities may take the New York State Alternate Assessments (NYSAA) in place of the general State Test, if specified on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

For 2021, more information is included in the Student Participation Guide for Grades 3-8 New York State tests.

When is this test given?

The school year 2020-21 administration dates are June 7-11. for the Written Test. The Performance Test will not be administered in school year 2020-21.

What is on the test?

The Assessment in Science asks students to demonstrate scientific knowledge and to apply scientific concepts, formulate hypotheses, make predictions, or use other scientific inquiry techniques. The 4th grade written examination is untimed and consists of multiple-choice and short and long open-ended questions. The 8th grade written examination is timed. 8th grade students have two hours to complete the written test. 

How is the test scored?

Exams are scored in-school by licensed teachers. Schools are given guidance that no teacher should score their own students’ exams.

How are the results reported?

The number of correct answers a student gives on a test is converted into the student’s “scale score.” Scale scores are divided into four performance levels. Schools distribute test results on Individual Student Reports (ISRs) to every parent. The ISRs include the student's scale score, performance level, and information on his or her strengths and weaknesses in the different skill areas tested.

Back to Top