Mock NECAP Grades 8 and 11 Science Inquiry Task Exams
Looking to strengthen your students’ science process skills? Want your students to practice working with real data?
Each mock exam is accompanied by a list of age-appropriate readings and lessons should teachers wish to broaden the mock exam topic into a multi-faceted lesson.
- Grade 8 Mock Inquiry Task Exam (Migratory Birds)
- Grade 8 Suggested Answer Guide (Migratory Birds)
- Grade 11 Mock Inquiry Task Exam (Road Salt Contamination)
- Grade 11 Suggested Answer Guide (Road Salt Contamination)
- Grade 11 Mock Inquiry Task Exam (Ice Storm Damage)
- Grade 11 Suggested Answer Guide (Ice Storm Damage)
As many science teachers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island know, the Inquiry Task portion of the science NECAP (New England Common Assessment Program) exam can be extremely challenging for students who haven’t had much experience with the actual process of ‘doing science.’ Seeking to provide their students with opportunities to strengthen inquiry skills, teachers from Littleton High School in Littleton, NH approached us and requested help in developing resources to accomplish this goal. This request fit in nicely with our efforts to make research and data generated by the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study useful to teachers. The resulting mock NECAP exams for grades 8 and 11 are one of several educational formats that use HBES data.
Our goal was to mimic the format and appearance, as well as quality and progression of exam questions, in order to provide teachers and students with a simulated NECAP Inquiry Task experience that is as true to the actual exam as possible. To develop questions we used the document NECAP Science Assessment: Guidelines for the Development of Science Inquiry Tasks, which was created in partnership by the NH, RI and VT departments of education and can be found at the Rhode Island Department of Education’s website.
The actual NECAP exams are produced by Measured Progress, an assessment contractor from New Hampshire. Measured Progress also provides Released Tests for practice and Scoring Guides that accompany each released NECAP exam. Examples of these Scoring Guides can be found on some of the participating states’ Department of Education web sites and are very helpful for preparing for the exams. (See the Scoring Guides offered on the Vermont Department of Education’s web site or the New Hampshire Department of Education’s web site.)
Though HBRF wishes to replicate the NECAP experience, we don’t feel that it is appropriate to mimic the Scoring Guides developed by Measured Progress. However, we have provided our own Suggested Answer Guide to accompany each of our mock NECAP exams to help teachers as they prepare their students. Our answer guides reference the manual NECAP Science Assessment: Guidelines for the Development of Science Inquiry Tasks by including the “Broad Area of Inquiry,” the “Inquiry Construct” and “Depth of Knowledge” that each question addresses, followed by guidelines for answering that question. To learn more about depth of knowledge levels, access the document Depth of Knowledge Levels for Science, from the Rhode Island Department of Education’s web site.
These resources are available free of charge thanks to the generous support of the USDA-Forest Service and the National Science Foundation’s sLTER Program.