Arizona Aims Higher

Top Frequently Asked Questions – Assessments

  • What is AzMERIT?

    Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) is an annual statewide test that measures how students are performing in English language arts and math. Although testing is never fun, assessments can be effective tools to support your child’s learning. They can tell you and your child’s teacher if your child is on track to succeed or if he/she needs to spend additional time learning a topic.

  • Who takes AzMERIT?

    Students in 3rd through 8th grade will take AzMERIT in English language arts and math at their grade level. In high school, students will take AzMERIT end-of-course tests in English language arts and math. The test will be administered to students enrolled in English classes in 9th through 11th grade, and Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.

  • Why do we test?

    AzMERIT is like an annual checkup – an important opportunity to find out how your child is doing. Just as doctors check height and weight, teachers use the test to check how your child is performing in English and math. Teachers will change from year to year. But the information from these tests will provide the constant, objective measure you can track over the course of your child’s education.

  • What does AzMERIT mean for students?

    AzMERIT goes beyond multiple choice questions to provide a better indicator of what students have learned during the school year. Students will have a chance to show their critical-thinking skills by applying concepts and showing deeper understanding of a topic.

  • When will the test be given?

    The AzMERIT spring semester testing window runs from March 28 – May 6 for the computer-based tests and March 28 – April 8 for the paper and pencil tests. The writing portion must be completed by April 15. Check with your school or child’s teacher for testing dates, times, and other specific test administration information.

  • What are the benefits of an annual assessment?

    AzMERIT test results provide students with valuable information about how they are doing and if they are prepared for the next grade and eventually for college and career. Students should use the test as an opportunity to check on their progress without the anxiety of needing to pass to graduate.

  • How will AzMERIT be administered?

    AzMERIT is a computer-based test. However, for schools that are not yet ready to administer a computer-based assessment, a paper and pencil version is available. Schools will have the ability to opt-in to the computer-based test if they feel they have the resources to successfully administer the test in this manner. Approximately 70% of schools representing 70% of students are expected to participate in the computer-based test this spring.

  • Is the AzMERIT test required for high school graduation?

    Students DO NOT have to pass the AzMERIT test to graduate from high school. As of February 2015, students who did not originally pass AIMS will not be required to retake the AIMS test. Beginning with the class of 2017, all students will need to pass a civics test for graduation.

  • Will the standards and AzMERIT test lead to unnecessary data collection by the federal government?

    No. Personal student data has never been, and never will be, shared with the federal government. Student test data is protected via a number of state and federal laws. including: A.R.S. §§ 15-1041 through 15-1045, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

    The federal government is prohibited by these laws from collecting any personally identifiable data (e.g., name, place and date of birth, social security number, or any other information that could be used to distinguish an individual’s identity) about individual students. This means that the federal government does not collect data about individual students or have access to data about individual students that states collect.

  • How can I help prepare my child for the AzMERIT test?

    Set shared goals with your child’s teacher for what your child needs to know and be able to do during this school year. Check in regularly on your child’s progress to see where your child might need help. Talk with your child about the test – your conversations can help minimize any fear or anxiety your child may feel when taking the test this spring. You can also take a practice AzMERIT test at home to help your child prepare. There is no need to create a login, just simply sign in as a guest at azmeritportal.org.

Get your questions answered about the new standards »