How To

How to Prepare Your Students for the Georgia Milestone Assessments

Preparing students for the Georgia Milestones can be time-consuming and stressful. But with the right tools and resources, the process can be far less daunting. Let’s take a closer look at what the GA Milestones are and how you can best prepare your students for this critical exam.

What Are the Georgia Milestones?

The Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones, GA Milestones, or GMAS) is a comprehensive summative assessment program administered to students in grades 3 through 12. It is designed to provide a clear picture of how well students are mastering state-adopted standards in core subjects like English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The Georgia Milestones measures how prepared students are for their next level of learning, whether that’s the next grade, the next course, or the next endeavor (college or career).

What Is the Goal of the GeorgiA Milestones?

The main goal of the Georgia Milestones is to provide teachers, administrators, and parents with vital information about student performance. Parents, the public, and policymakers can use the GA Milestones results as a barometer of the quality of educational opportunities provided throughout the state of Georgia. As such, the Georgia Milestones serves as a key component of the state’s accountability system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).

What Grades and Subjects Are Tested on the GMAS?

In elementary and middle school, the Georgia Milestone exams are called end of grade (EOG) exams and are given to students in grades 3-8 at the end of each year in English language arts and mathematics. Grades 5 and 8 are tested in science, and grade 8 is tested in social studies.

In high school, students take the Georgia Milestones end-of-course (EOC) exams for American Literature and Composition, Algebra: Concepts and Connections, Biology, and U.S. History. The EOCs serve as the final exam for the course and contribute to a percentage of the student’s final course grade. Middle school students enrolled in these courses must also take the EOC exams.

How to Prepare for Georgia Milestones

By following the strategies below, you will feel confident in your GMAS test prep and your students will feel confident on test day.

  1. Understand the Content

Before you start preparing your students for the Georgia Milestones, it’s essential to understand the content of the tests. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) provides Georgia Milestones assessment guides that outline the specific content and Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSEs) assessed at each grade level. 

  1. Integrate Test Prep Into Your Instruction

Once you familiarize yourself with the content and standards, integrate them into your lessons to ensure comprehensive coverage. Integrating GMAS test prep into your daily lessons can help familiarize students with the content, question types, and verbiage of the questions. Online learning solutions like Progress Learning, which offers comprehensive GMAS test prep, practice, and assessments, make this easy. 

  1. Leverage Technology

The GMAS is administered primarily on the computer and includes various technology-enhanced items, such as multiple-choice questions, constructed-response items, and extended-response items. Progress Learning offers thousands of GSE-aligned tech-enhanced questions, which can help students get used to the kinds of questions they will be asked on the GMAS. Our technology-enhanced question types also encourage higher-order thinking, which supports the deeper level of understanding required by the GMAS.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Frequent practice ensures students master the content of the GMAS and feel more confident in their test-taking skills. Online solutions like Progress Learning can supplement instruction and reinforce learning concepts. We offer tailored learning paths where students can easily log in, open their study plans, and practice in their areas of weakness.  

According to a study by the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins, more time spent on Progress Learning leads to higher Georgia Milestones scores in math and ELA. As they say, practice makes progress!

  1. Utilize Assessments

Assessments are a great way to gauge student learning and identify individual strengths and areas for improvement. They also help prepare students for test day by simulating a virtual testing environment. Regular formative assessments, such as quizzes or mini-assessments, provide frequent check-ins and feedback. GA Milestones practice tests give students an authentic testing experience and prepare them for what the actual GMAS will be like. Progress Learning offers all these types of assessments, including GA Milestones practice tests, formative assessments, diagnostics, benchmarks, and more. 

  1. Analyze Data to Pinpoint Areas of Weakness

Regular data analysis is essential to identify where students need additional support. Teachers can use data from formative assessments to spot patterns and trends and focus on common misconceptions that need additional instruction. Progress Learning allows Georgia teachers to easily pull reports filtered by student, class, grade level, subject, or school and quickly pinpoint areas of weakness. 

  1. Individualize Instruction for Struggling Students

For students with skill gaps, providing extra support through small groups, intervention, or remediation is crucial. Progress Learning offers tools like Quick Click Remediation, which allows teachers to assign remediation with just a click, and Liftoff Adaptive Intervention, which helps students in grades 2-5 close skill gaps in math and reading.

According to the Johns Hopkins study, teachers appreciate how simple Progress Learning makes it to individualize instruction for their students.

  1. Partner with Parents

Communicating with parents is key to successful GMAS test prep. Keep them informed about the GMAS and how they can support their children’s preparation at home. Share resources from GaDOE and other online learning solutions like Progress Learning so parents can work with their children outside of school.

How Progress Learning Supports Your GMAS Test Prep

You can find Georgia Milestones assessment guides and resource guides here. However, for a more comprehensive solution you can use all year to prepare, Progress Learning may be just what you need.  

We offer:

  • Comprehensive GMAS review for all grade levels and subjects
  • 100% GSE-aligned content, practice, and assessments that mirror the content, rigor, and verbiage of the GMAS
  • GA Milestones online practice that prepares students for the virtual testing environment of the GMAS
  • Bell ringers, classroom activities, and more instructional resources
  • Technology-enhanced item types that not only mirror the exam but also prepare students for higher-order thinking
  • In-depth reporting that allows educators to pinpoint areas of weakness Quick Click Remediation that makes it easy to assign practice to individual students
  • Liftoff Adaptive Intervention that provides additional support for students with skill gaps in reading and math
  • GA Milestones practice tests that give students an authentic testing experience and provide educators with valuable data on student understanding

According to a study done by Johns Hopkins, students using Progress Learning have shown GMAS score improvements of more than 4 points in math and 3 points in science compared to non-Progress Learning users.Ready to take your GMAS test prep to the next level? Want to achieve higher Georgia Milestones scores? Request a demo of Progress Learning here.

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