Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessments: What You Need to Prep Your Students

Arizona’s state tests have gone through a few name changes over the years: what once was AzMerit became AzM2 and is now Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessments (or AASA). What hasn’t changed? Your students still need support and practice as they prepare for the test.
Whether you were in the classroom for AzMerit and AzM2 or not, you’ll be able to equip your students for Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessments. All you need is a little insight into what the test is like. That’s what we’ll cover next.

What Is AASA?

For the first time this year, Arizona is administering Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessment (AASA) to students in grades 3 through 8. AASA covers English language arts (both writing and reading) and mathematics, and includes Arizona-specific questions that were used on AzM2. The AASA ELA test for third graders includes an Oral Reading Fluency unit.
In addition to AASA tests, Arizona students are also tested on science topics with AzSCI, the state’s science assessment, in grades 5, 8 and 11. AzSCI test content is aligned to Arizona’s 2018 science standards and also includes Arizona-specific items. The exam also makes use of technology-enhanced questions like inline answers, fill-in-the-blank, and two-part questions, and provides access to the Desmos calculator for students to use in answering questions. This spring is AzSCI’s first year being used for grade 11.
Arizona high school students are tested with the ACT Aspire (grade 9) and the ACT (grade 11), both of which cover English, mathematics, reading, science, and writing.
The tests are all administered online, but there’s an opportunity for paper testing for students whose disabilities prevent them from accessing the online test in a meaningful way. Both AASA and AzSCI tests offer paper versions in Braille or large print for visually impaired students. Arizona also offers the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA), which covers English language arts, mathematics, and science, for students with significant cognitive disabilities. MSAA tests are administered individually to qualifying students.
English language learners are also assessed in the state with AZELLA, which determines where students are in their development of English language skills. English language learners are tested annually with AZELLA until they reach English language proficiency. A new AZELLA test, aligned to new standards, will be administered for the first time in spring 2023. An alternate assessment for English language learners with significant cognitive disabilities is also in development.
Testing windows for the 2021-2022 school year are as follows:
  • AASA (grades 3–8)
    • Computer-based test: April 4–29, 2022 (writing must be completed by April 15)
    • Paper-based test: April 4–13, 2022 (writing must be scheduled for April 4 or 5)
  • AzSCI (grades 5, 8, 11): March 21–April 15, 2022
  • ACT Aspire (grade 9)
    • Computer-based test: April 4–29, 2022
    • Paper-based test: April 4–13, 2022
  • ACT (grade 11): Districts choose one of the two windows below.
    • Window 1: Computer-based test: March 1–3, 8–10, 2022. Standard paper testing: March 1, 2022. Accommodations paper testing: March 1–4, 7–11, 2022.
    • Window 2: Computer-based test: April 5–7, 12–14, 2022. Standard paper testing: April 5, 2022. Accommodations paper testing: April 5–8, 11–15, 2022.
  • MSAA: March 14–April 29, 2022
  • AZELLA: January 31–March 18, 2022

How to Prep Your Students for Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessments (AASA)

If you were familiar with AZ Merit or AzM2, you already know: computer-based tests require more than subject matter preparation. Your students need to know and be comfortable with the virtual testing technology they’ll encounter on test day. That means making time for virtual practice.
Computer-based tests like AASA and AzSCI (and AzM2, previously) make use of technology-enhanced questions, so your students won’t just face a slew of multiple choice questions. They’ll be engaged with questions types like drag-and-drop, multiple selection, and equation creation, that take advantage of the unique capabilities of technology to assess your students’ understanding on a deeper level.
For an added benefit: have your students take practice tests on the same device they’ll use for AASA and AzSCI. That way, when test day rolls around, they’ll know exactly how their device functions with the test-taking technology.

Access the AASA Practice Test in Edulastic

Guess what? Edulastic has already set up AASA practice content in our Edulastic Public Library for quick access and easy practice. All you have to do is set up a free account, and you’ll be able to welcome your students into a virtual testing environment where they can gain familiarity with the tools they’ll encounter on test day.
They’ll also get a sense of the sort of content they’ll be tested on, and with every practice session, they’ll build confidence that will bolster their test performance. No test-taking butterflies here!
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Resources

AzM2 Practice tests

AzM2 Grade 4 Math – 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 5 Math 2019
5 questions | AzM2
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AzM2 Grade 8 Math 2019
5 questions | AzM2
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AzM2 Grade 7 Math 2019
5 questions | AzM2
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AzM2 Grade 10 Math 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 3 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 4 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 5 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 6 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 7 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 8 ELA – Reading 2019
5 questions | AzM2
Assign
AzM2 Grade 10 ELA – Reading 2019
10 questions | AzM2
Assign