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New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK)
Performance Level Descriptors

Language Arts Literacy
Grade 7

06/09/08

Partially Proficient

Reading

Seventh grade students performing at the partially proficient level construct meaning by using reading strategies for literal and inferential comprehension, and make connections with the text.  They identify the central idea or theme, demonstrate some understanding of text structures and literary elements and provide limited support for opinions and conclusions. These students use word structure and context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words.

Writing

Seventh grade students partially proficient in writing develop a single focus and organize and connect ideas with some supporting details.  They may establish a purpose for writing and provide limited support for opinions and conclusions.  These students demonstrate some control of Standard English conventions.

Proficient

Reading

Seventh grade students performing at the proficient level demonstrate an understanding of a variety of texts.  Proficient students identify the author’s purpose, tone, and central idea or theme.  They recognize the main idea and support it with evidence.  Students use the organizational structure of text to construct meaning.  They use word and sentence structure as well as context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases. Students interpret, extrapolate, and synthesize information.

Writing

Seventh grade students proficient in writing are able to develop a single focus and supply supporting details in a variety of organizational structures.  Students at this level establish a purpose for writing and provide support for opinions and conclusions.  Proficient students demonstrate control of Standard English conventions.

Advanced Proficient

Reading

In addition to demonstrating the skills outlined for proficient students, advanced proficient students infer themes or central ideas while analyzing and evaluating texts. Advanced students make connections to extend understanding and critically respond to a variety of texts. 

Writing

As writers, students performing at the advanced level of proficiency consistently demonstrate the skills outlined for proficient performance.  In addition, the advanced proficient students create a clear and unified composition by developing a central theme, supporting details and appropriate organizational structure. They demonstrate sophisticated use of literary elements as well as a precise vocabulary.  Advanced students apply compositional risks.