NY State English Language Arts Test (ELA)

Who takes this test?

Students in grades 3–8 take the State English Language Arts (ELA) test each spring. Students who are English Language Learners and who have been in the United States for less than one year are not required to take the NY State ELA test in their grade, but must start taking ELA tests after their first year. Some students with disabilities may take the NY State Alternate Assessments (NYSAA) in place of the State test, if it says so on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

When is this test given?

For school year 2023-24, English Language Arts exam dates are April 11-12.

What is on the test?

The ELA test is a two-day untimed test that contains several different kinds of questions. Students answer multiple-choice questions based on short passages they read, and write responses to open-ended questions based on stories, articles or poems they read. New York state is in the process of transitioning from testing on paper to testing on a computer. For school year 2023-24, grades 5 and 8 will be required to test on a computer.

How is the test scored?

The NY State Grades 3-8 exams are scored by licensed and trained New York City teachers. The exams are scored through a distributed scoring process, meaning no student’s exam is scored by a teacher from the student’s school. This scoring complies with NY State Education Department and DOE policies regarding scoring of State 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. You can access the results through the NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) portal. You can view the results in the “My Student” page. Your account must be linked to your child to view this information. If you need support accessing the portal or would like to create an account, you can check out the resources on the NYCSA page or contact your child’s school.