Juniors and the NJGPA: The Importance of a Test


Image by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay

The NJ Department of Eduation made the NJGPA mandatory for juniors to get their high school diplomas.

This year’s junior classes throughout the state of New Jersey were required to take the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA) and must pass in order to graduate high school. The juniors at Lakeland Regional High School and around the state took the NJGPA assessment from March 13 to March 17, 2023.

According to LRHS Testing Coordinator and English teacher Ms. Jamie Cawley, “The test was designed by the Department of Education and the state of New Jersey as a way of measuring that students have the necessary skills required for earning a high school diploma.”

Students were encouraged to put in their best effort to pass this assessment as it is one of the most straightforward ways to graduate high school with all of their peers. However, if students did not end up passing this assessment, other pathways towards graduation could still be taken. For example, any of the students who do not pass this assessment will be put into an English or math skills course during their senior year to prepare for additional assessment and build a portfolio. However, these alternatives will not be available to students who did not attempt the NJGPA.

Mr. LRHS’ Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, met with each junior English class to review the importance of the test and share where students would go to prepare. He also made sure parents and guardians were aware of the test through letters, emails, and phone messages.

The NJGPA included two sections for English/language arts and two sections for mathematics. Each of these units were 90 minutes and ultimately broken down into four days. On the days of testing, juniors needed to be in school on time with their fully charged district-issued chromebooks, headphones, and a calculator for their math sections.

Junior English teacher Melissa Roush told the Lancer Ledger, “In the English section, students should expect to see literary selections and historical non-fiction selections that are at least 50+ years old. The testing company prefers making money, so it only chooses works that are well past their copyright dates and are, therefore, free. Students should expect questions that require identifying main idea, tone, author’s purpose, rhetorical strategies and organization; they will also likely answer questions about definitions, implied information and supporting evidence. They may have to watch or listen to a media selection on a similar topic as the readings and utilize that information in a cohesive essay.”

There were also online practice tests available that juniors could have used for both the Mathematics and English/language arts sections to familiarize themselves with the testing site and the types of questions that they will see on the actual assessment. These links were provided to juniors in the weeks prior to the test.

As of Friday, March 17, juniors completed the NJGPA.