INFORMATION SHEET

Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test

Date of Introduction: May 2004

Test Description:

The purpose of the Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test is to measure achievement of the NYS Learning Standards for Math, Science, and Technology detailed in New York State’s Elementary-Level Science Core Curriculum Grades K-4. The test will have a one-hour written component and a one-hour performance component; to be given on different dates within the testing period established by the Department. A State-designated level of performance will be established to help schools identify students who must receive academic intervention services. All students who score below a designated level on the test must receive such services, which must commence no later than the following September.

The test consists of questions in three formats: multiple choice, constructed response, and extended constructed response. The questions are based on the material in the Elementary-Level Science Core Curriculum Grades K-4. The first table below shows the approximate percentage of the test that addresses each of the five relevant learning standards. The second table shows the approximate percentage of the test devoted to specific parts of the test.

New York State Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test Blueprint

Area in New York State Elementary-Level Science Core Curriculum (K-4)

Approximate Percentage of the Test

Standard 1 – Mathematical Analysis, Scientific Inquiry, and Technological Design

25 – 30%

Standard 2 – Information Systems

0 – 5%

Standard 4 –The Living Environment; The Physical Setting

60 – 70%

Standard 6 – Interconnectedness: Common Themes

5 – 10%

Standard 7 – Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

0 – 5%

Parts of the Test (item formats and purposes)

Approximate Percentage of the Test

Written

Test

Multiple-choice items

Content-based questions assessing the student’s knowledge and understanding of core material (primarily from Standard 4)

35 - 40%

Multiple-choice and constructed-response items

Content- and skills-based questions assessing the student’s ability to apply, analyze, and evaluate material (primarily from Standards 1 and 4)

15 - 20%

Constructed-response and extended

constructed response items

Content and application questions assessing the student’s ability to apply knowledge of science concepts and skills to address real-world situations (primarily from Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7)

15 - 20%

Performance Test

open-ended items

Application questions assessing the student’s skills in using hands-on equipment and materials in his or her responses to the questions posed

(primarily from Standard 1)

25%

Scoring Time and Rating Techniques:

Performance Test, Form A:

This test will consist of hands-on tasks set up at three different stations. Students will work alone and will spend 15 minutes at each of the three stations during the testing period. The three stations on Form A are briefly described below. Detailed information on the equipment, materials preparation, and station setup will be provided at the regional workshops in the beginning of 2004.

Station 1 - Measuring Objects and Liquids

Students use measuring equipment and their observation skills to determine some physical properties of solids and liquids.

Station 2 - Testing and Sorting Objects

Students use a magnet and electrical tester to collect data about a set of eight objects. They record their findings and use the data they collect to make inferences and generalizations. Students use the set of eight objects to create their own classification system and sort accordingly.

Station 3 - Ball and Ramp

Students use a ball-and-ramp apparatus to gather data and use the data they collect to make inferences and predictions.

 

Performance Test, Form A Materials List:

NOTE: Schools will need to provide pan balances with gram masses for the testing room. It is possible to set up one testing room with 8-12 groups of three stations each. In this case, 8-12 pan balances with gram masses are needed so that 24-36 students can be tested in a one-hour period. The rest of the materials below can be purchased in kits from commercial vendors and some BOCES. Pan balances with gram masses are also available commercially. Schools are responsible for having all of this equipment available in sufficient quantities at the time of testing.

Station 1 - Measuring Objects and Liquids (materials for one station):

· 1 balance, equal-arm

· 1 set of gram masses (mixture of two 20-g, three 10-g, four 5-g and 10 1-g for a total of 100 g)

· 3 jars, clear plastic, approximately 125-mL capacity

· 2 screw tops to fit jars

· 1 graduated beaker, 100-mL capacity with clearly marked gradations to use as a measuring cup

· 1 ruler with units for metric (30-cm) and for standard (12 inches) measurement, neither with indented zero points

· 2-3 paper towels

Station 2 - Testing and Sorting Objects (materials for one station):

– 1.5-volt "D" cell battery

– 1.5-volt bulb and bulb holder

– battery holder (plastic or metal recommended)

– 3 insulated wires with clips

– penny

– rubber band (at least 1/4 inch wide)

– paper clip (all metal)

– plastic spoon (small)

– nickel (five cents)

– wooden stick (such as a Popsicle stick or tongue depressor)

– aluminum foil (heavy duty, about 5-cm square)

– colored ceramic disk (magnetic)

Station 3 - Ball and Ramp (materials for one station):