NJDOE News
Contact: Richard Vespucci, 609-292-1126
For Release: March 1, 2002

New High School Graduation Test Debuts Next Week

New Jersey's new high school graduation test will be administered to 11th graders for the first time next week. Approximately 85,000 11th-grade students will take the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) on March 5, 6 and 7.

The HSPA will be administered in two sections: language arts literacy and mathematics. Passing both sections is a requirement for a high school diploma. Students who are unable to take the test on any of the scheduled days next week will have opportunities to take make-up exams on March 12, 13 and 14.

The HSPA replaces the High School Proficiency Test (HSPT) as the state's graduation test. The HSPA tests student knowledge and skills more closely aligned with the state's academic standards, known as the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students who fail one or both sections of the exam will have additional opportunities to pass in the fall and spring of their senior year.

HSPA testing begins on March 5 in the area of mathematics. The test will consist of 40 multiple choice and 8 open-ended items. Total test administration time will be 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Testing continues on March 6 in language arts literacy. The test will consist of 20 multiple choice and 4 open-ended items, and one writing task. Total test administration time will be 2 hours, 25 minutes.

Testing concludes on March 7 in language arts literacy. The test will also consist of 20 multiple choice and 4 open-ended items, and one writing task. Total test administration time will be 2 hours, 55 minutes.

Sample HSPA items can be found on the Department of Education's website:

www.state.nj.us/njded/stass/assessment/hspa_prep.pdf