(Note: This informative article is the second in a series regarding state testing and is provided by the New Albany and Union County School Districts with assistance from resources of the Mississippi Department of Education. This article focuses on the Algebra I & Biology I Subject Area Tests. Next week’s article will focus on the English II and U.S. History Subject Area Tests.)
The Mississippi Subject Area Testing Program, Second Edition (SATP2) consists of four academic tests that are untimed. At the end of the courses, students are tested on the content taught in Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U.S. History. Tests are based on the information taught in that course during the school year. Since the 2001-2002 school year, students have been required to pass the subject area tests as a requirement for graduation. In addition, test results are used for school accreditation.
In addition to students receiving a pass or fail status on the SATP2, performance level based on students’ performance is also given. Performance levels are organized into four proficiency levels: Minimal, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced.
- Advanced: Students at the advanced level consistently perform in a manner clearly beyond that required to be successful in that specific subject.
- Proficient: Students at the proficient level demonstrate solid academic performance and mastery of the knowledge and skills required for success in that specific subject.
- Basic: Students at the basic level demonstrate partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that have been taught in that specific subject.
- Minimal: Students at the minimal level demonstrate knowledge or skills below the basic level in that specific subject.
The Algebra I Test will be given Thursday, April 28 and includes 65 test questions related to knowledge and skills associated with Numbers & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis & Probability. A passing score of at least 647 is required with the typical range of scores being between 620-680.
Below are two sample questions from the Algebra I Test . The first item represents a medium-level of difficulty question and the second item represents a high-level of difficulty question. Medium-level difficulty questions make up more than 70% of the test questions, while high-level difficulty questions make up about 10% of the test questions for this subject area test:
The area of a rectangle can be expressed as s2 +7s – 30. Which of the following could be the length and width of the rectangle?
A. (s – 1) and (s + 30)
B. (s – 5) and (s + 6)
C. (s – 2) and (s + 15)
D. (s – 3) and (s + 10)
The table shows the relationship between x, the number of employees hired for a construction project, and y, the cost of the project.
|Number of Employees||Cost of Project (dollars)|
Which equation is closest to the line-of best fit for this data?
A. y = 290x – 500
B. y = 295x – 520
C. y = 600x + 7000
D. y = 600x + 5200
The Biology I Test will be given Tuesday, May 3 and includes 70 test questions related to the knowledge and skills associated with Inquiry, Physical Science, and Life Science. The test has been revised for this school year and a passing score has not yet been determined.
Below are two sample questions from the Biology I Test . The first item represents a medium-level of difficulty question and the second item represents a high-level of difficulty question. Medium-level difficulty questions make up more than 50% of the test questions, while high-level difficulty questions make up about 20% of the test questions for this subject area test:
Which of the following introduces carbon dioxide into the carbon cycle?
A. Using a windmill to pump water
B. Absorbing solar energy
C. Burning organic material
D. Generating hydroelectric power
When testing the benefits of a new fertilizer on the growth of tomato plants, the control group should include which of the following?
A. Tomato plants grown in soil with no fertilizer.
B. Tomato plants grown in soil with the original type of fertilizer.
C. Tomato plants grown in a different type of soil with the new fertilizer.
D. Tomato plants of different varieties grown in soil with the new fertilizer.
*The correct answer to the first Algebra I Sample Test Question is “D” and the correct answer to the second Algebra I Sample Test Question is “B”. The correct answer to the first Biology I Sample Test Question is “”C” and the correct answer to the second Biology I Sample Test Question is “A”.
For more information on SATP2 Testing, go to: http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/acad/osa/satp.html