Reading and Writing Stamina

How do we prepare students for the fact that they will often have to read TWO passages and write TWO essays in one day of testing? Please encourage the type of stamina that will be needed for these rigorous days of testing!

Creating Practice Tests

If you are trying to simulate testing day, remember that students only have 30 minutes to read a text with 700-1000 words, with 10 Multiple Choice Questions and 1 Open-Ended Response. Don't give students more or less than this to do in one sitting.

Keeping Kids Engaged in the Reading Section

Students will need strategies for the following:
  • Chunking the Text
    • Train students to draw lines between every few paragraphs. As they are reading, they should stop when they get to the line and summarize what they have read in the margin. This will help them track important ideas in the text that they can refer to as they answer questions.
    • Here's what chunking the text might look like:

  • Marking Up the Text/Making Notes in the Margin
  • Reading Questions First (Including OEQ's)

Answering Open-Ended Questions

Show RACE exemplars. Remember that students should "Extend" or "Explain" their answer whenever possible. It is also recommended that students answer bullets as separate paragraphs.

Multiple Choice Strategies

Commonly Used NJ ASK Vocabulary

Many of the words used in the questions on the NJ ASK are high-level vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to our students.


There is a high likelihood that the NJ ASK will include a folktale at each grade level. Here are some resources for review:

The UNWRAP Strategy

Underline the title
Number the paragraphs
Walk through the questions
Read the passage twice
Answer the Questions
Prove the answers twice (once in the passage-write the problem number, the other by the question- write the paragraph number)