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New Jersey Alternate Proficiency Assessment
Performance Level Descriptors
Science

(February 2009) 

Grade 8 Science

Partially Proficient

Eighth grade students performing at the partially proficient level may require prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while recalling knowledge and demonstrate emerging skills in characteristics of life, chemistry, physics and astronomy with inconsistent performance.  Partially proficient students will typically use fewer categories to:

  • Identify organisms based upon the diversity of their characteristics.  Identify characteristics best suited for survival in a particular environment.
  • Identify physical changes and chemical reactions  
  • Identify types of energy and types of energy transformations
  • Identify objects and/or the physical characteristics of the planets and other objects within the Solar system

Partially proficient students will sometimes demonstrate the ability to identify vocabulary, collect and record data and make a few connections to their real-life experiences.

Proficient

Eighth grade students performing at the proficient level may require some prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while recalling knowledge and demonstrating skills in characteristics of life, chemistry, physics and astronomy with increased performance. Proficient students will typically be able to:

  • Classify organisms based upon the diversity of their characteristics.  Describe the biological evolution of organisms.
  • Classify, compare, and/or describe examples of physical changes and chemical reactions  
  • Classify, illustrate and/or describe types of energy and types of energy transformations
  • Compare and/or classify the physical characteristics of the planets and other objects within the Solar system

Proficient students will frequently demonstrate the ability to comprehend vocabulary, use data to draw conclusions and make connections to the real-world.

Advanced Proficient

Eighth grade students performing at the advanced proficient level will demonstrate the qualities outlined for the proficient student.  They may require minimal prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while applying vocabulary, knowledge and skills to explain the characteristics of life, chemistry, physics and astronomy with a high-level of performance.  Advanced proficient students will typically be able to perform skills such as: make predictions, observe, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions and make inferences relating to the real-world.