NJ Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA)
Posted on 04/03/2024

During the first week in May, Hillsborough Middle School will be administering the New Jersey state standardized assessments for 7th and 8th grade in literacy, math and science (8th grade only), referred to as NJ Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA).  The assessments are computer based and aligned to the New Jersey Learning Standards.  HMS students in grades 7-8 will take English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics sections on April 30, May 1, 2, and 3.  Then, the following week, students in 8th grade will take the science assessment on May 6 and 7.

There are many important reasons why students should take these assessments, and take them seriously, doing their best to demonstrate their current progress in meeting the standards for literacy and mathematic knowledge and skills set by the state of New Jersey and our local Hillsborough Board of Education for all students.  Individual score reports can provide detailed analysis of each student’s academic strengths and areas for growth in these core disciplines and help students, parents, and teachers make informed decisions regarding academic programs to best meet individual needs.


The NJSLA for grades 7 and 8 will take place at HMS between 8:30 a.m. – approx.11:00 a.m. (end times may vary).  A detailed schedule of testing and classes can be found as this link:  HMS Schedule NJSLA Testing May 2024.


April 30       English/ Language Arts Unit 1  (90 min)

May 1       English/ Language Arts Unit 2  (90 min)

The English/ language arts assessments focus on reading comprehension involving a range of texts; analyzing sources critically; writing effectively when analyzing text; and building and presenting knowledge through research and the integration of ideas.


May 2        Math Units 1  (60 min) – Algebra/Geometry Unit 1  (90 min)

May 3        Math Unit 2 & 3  (120 min) – Algebra/Geometry Unit 2  (90 min)

For math, most students will complete the Math 7 or Math 8 assessments.  However, those students currently enrolled in Algebra or Geometry will take the respective Algebra or Geometry unit 1-2 assessments which are each 90 minutes in length.  

The mathematics assessments require students to demonstrate conceptual understanding; mathematical fluency (the ability to select and explain their choice of computational method); the application of math content; and the ability to express mathematical reasoning and modeling using mathematics in the context of real-world problems.


May 6       Science Gr 8 Units 1-2  (90 min total)

May 7     Science Gr 8 Units 3-4  (90 min total)

The science assessments measure student proficiency in science and engineering practices, the ability to make sense of phenomena, and to design solutions to problems. The NJSLA-S uses the same familiar testing platform that NJSLA-ELA and NJSLA-M uses.

Although each unit test requires between 60-90 minutes, additional time is allocated for the testing periods each day for students to settle in to the testing rooms, provide for distribution and collection of materials, reading of directions, etc.  Please refer to the HMS website for more specific details on the testing times and class schedule adjustments for each of the testing dates.  Students absent during any of the testing sessions will be notified separately of the applicable make-up sessions.


We have established a NJSLA resource page on the HMS website with complete details, schedules, links, and resources for parents, students and staff.  Simply click on the link below or look for it on the HMS website at  https://hms.htps.us/school_info/njsla_state_testing and it will connect you to a host of resources and information on the most frequently asked questions regarding NJSLA for Hillsborough Middle School.

NJSLA Resource Page

In April, literacy and math teachers will show students the NJSLA tutorials and sample test problems to ensure that all students are comfortable using the various online tools associated with the tests as well as familiar with the types of questions they will encounter.  In addition, we have already conducted an “infrastructure test” during an extended homeroom to ensure all devices are properly configured and everyone is able to access the test navigation module using the online tools and manipulating the testing environment itself to build comfort level prior to the test dates. 

I encourage you to review sample NJSLA questions and tests for yourself along with additional information about the NJSLA and score reports by visiting:  https://nj.mypearsonsupport.com/practice-tests/

Our literacy and math curricula along with that of our science, social studies, and other departments focuses student learning on critical thinking skills, the ability to analyze text and data, to convey knowledge and integration of ideas through research and writing, and to express mathematical reasoning and scientific modeling based in real-world problems. 

The NJSLA are aligned with the New Jersey standards and Hillsborough’s curricula so any in-class assessment review reinforces important knowledge and skills associated with our normal instruction over the course of the school year.  Our students are well prepared for the design and rigor of the NJ Student Learning Assessments.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.  On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at HMS we thank you for taking time to read through this important information and for taking time out over the next few weeks to review our NJSLA resource page with your child. 



Fully charged Chromebook (student responsibility)

The NJSLA are entirely computer-based.  Students will therefore complete the tasks online using their school-issued Chromebooks.  It will be critical that each student come to school prepared with his or her Chromebook fully charged and ready to go each day of testing. 

Wired Earbuds/Headphones (student responsibility)

Some of the literacy units on the NJSLA may include video components.  For this reason student are required to have a set of wired earbuds or headphones that can function with their Chromebooks.  All students should already have a personal set of earbuds as part of their regular set of school supplies given their work with Chromebooks at HMS on a daily basis.  However, for state testing, wireless devices are not permitted.  All earbuds must be WIRED.  Please make certain that your child has functional wired set of earbuds for use in school during our testing week.

Pencils/Paper (provided by school)

All students will receive a pencil and scratch paper for use during the tests.  Students may use pencil and scratch paper for brainstorming, drafting, note-taking, or calculations, but all final answers must be recorded online via the Chromebook.

Calculator (provided by school/ available within the test)

Students will be permitted to use specific types of calculators on some sections of the math assessment. Where appropriate, students will have access to a calculator as one of the online tools built into the NJSLA.  This ensures that all students will have access to the calculator features that will be appropriate to their grade level and assessment (i.e. basic function calculator for 7th grade, scientific calculator for 8th grade, or graphing calculator for Algebra/Geometry). 

Computer Mouse (recommended)

A mouse is not required for testing, however, some students may be more comfortable using a mouse during assessments in lieu of the touchpad.  If your child would be more comfortable using a mouse, please be sure to provide one for him or her.

Reading Material (highly recommended)

Students who finish early and have logged-out of the test are only permitted to have access to a school- appropriate book to read while others in the room are still testing.  No electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, tablets, e-readers) are permitted to be in use by anyone in the classroom while testing is in session.