• AzMERIT – what you need to know about Arizona's new achievement test


  • What is AZMERIT?

    In November 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted the new statewide achievement test Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT). Arizona partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to develop the test. AzMERIT replaced the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test, except for the science component. AIMS Science will continued to be administered to students in the 4th and 8th grades and students in 9th and 10th grades who take a Biology class.
    AzMERIT was designed to be a tool for parents, teachers and students to tell us if your child is on track to succeed in his current grade and in the future. You should use your child’s AzMERIT scores along with classroom assignments, homework, grades, and your conversations with his or her teachers to have a complete picture of how your child is doing. Please contact your child's teachers to talk through the results and how you can work together to help your child.  

    Who will take AZMERIT?

    Students in 3rd through 8th grade will take the AzMERIT assessments in English Language Arts and mathematics. Students currently enrolled in high school level English and mathematics classes that satisfy the first three credits required for graduation in these courses will take end-of-course assessments that will test their proficiency in these subjects.  

    What types of questions are asked?

    AzMERIT includes a number of different types of questions, including performance tasks that are multi-step assignments that ask students to apply their knowledge and skills to address real-world problems. In English, students have to apply their research and writing skills, and in math, they solve complex problems and then describe and defend their reasoning. The test also includes traditional multiple choice questions, as well as, interactive questions that require students to drag and drop their answers into a box, create equations, and fill in the answer.  

    When will the test be given?

    AzMERIT is administered to students in grades 3 through 8 in the spring, and to high school students in the fall and spring. Please contact your student's school for specific dates of administration.  

    Are high school students required to pass AzMERIT to graduate?

    No. Students are not required to pass the AzMERIT assessment to graduate. Currently, the only state test students are required to pass for graduation is the Civics Test.  

    What should you take away from the score report?

    The AzMERIT score report helps you understand your child’s academic achievement. You can see how your child is performing in comparison to peers in the same grade level, school, and district. In addition to giving you an overall score, the report also breaks down each subject into categories to provide you with a better understanding of how your child performed in different areas of math and English.  

    How will my child’s score be used?

    Scores will be used to better tailor instruction to individual student needs and give us a tool to see how students and schools across the state are doing.  

    How can I use these test results to help my child improve?

    You can use the test results to guide a discussion with your child’s teachers about additional supports or challenges that may be needed in class, as well as ways to support your child at home. Your child’s performance is broken down into categories in each subject. Therefore, you can use also this information to locate activities online that were designed specifically for each category at every grade level.  

    What if my child did well on his or her report card last year, but not as well on this test?

    The tests are only one of several measures that are used to determine your child’s academic performance. Report card grades include multiple sources of information – participation, work habits, group projects, and homework – all of which are important in determining a child’s academic achievement. These sources are not reflected on the test, so there may be some differences. To further explore your child’s academic achievement, talk with his/her teacher.  

    What resources are available to help my child?

    • Arizona Aims Higher: Information about Arizona’s College & Career Ready Standards and AzMERIT, along with tips and resources to help your child succeed in school.
    • Do Your Homework Arizona: A free tool created by Stand for Children Arizona to help parents better understand homework related to Arizona’s new academic standards in math and English in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. 
    • FROST: PVSchools is offering Free Resources for Online Student Tutoring (FROST) to all students in the district. It is a student-driven, tutoring program that creates a casual, easy to use learning environment for students who need extra assistance with their academic subjects. At PVSchools, our qualified high school students will be available to provide tutoring in any subject matter for any student in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.  
    • Khan Academy: A free resource offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.  
    • Math Power Book: Created by The Rodel Foundation of Arizona, this book was designed for parents and families who want to help their children make sense of math and covers concepts introduced in 1st grade through 6th grade. Sold in English & Spanish.

AzMERIT Resources