1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. USNS Project FAQs
  4. USNS Assessment Time Allotment

USNS Assessment Time Allotment

USNS assessments are not timed assessments. For this reason, assessment time allotments for each assessment are intended to give students adequate time to respond to tasks, while providing guidance to administrators for when students are not able to complete tasks within a reasonable timeframe.

The USNS have been designed to be as efficient as possible, but teachers need to focus their efforts to keep a manageable pace. Teachers should attempt to question students as much as is necessary to score the assessment accurately. It is sometimes tempting for teachers to turn the assessment into an instructional opportunity. This can cause the assessment times to get drawn out
significantly. Teachers are advised to take note of the instructional opportunities that present themselves during the assessment and to address them later.

General guidelines for interview times follow below. Many students will move through interviews more quickly, while others will need more time. If a student is taking an inordinate amount of time and does not appear to be able to engage productively in the problem; the teacher may ask the student if they require more time or need to hear the question again. When a student is not working productively on a problem, it is appropriate to record the student answer as unsuccessful and move on. Teachers should seek to strike a balance between getting as much information as is useful for informing instruction and maintaining a manageable assessment schedule.

Fall Interviews

The USNS fall assessments are entirely interview-based. Assessment times can vary student to student, particularly those that are struggling, and teacher-by-teacher. Although it can be challenging, limit questioning beyond the scripted interview. This helps keep assessment times manageable and results more reliable, by reducing inconsistencies in interviews with students. General guidelines for expected timeframes follow below:

  • Kindergarten interviews for the fall should take between 3-5 minutes per student.
  • First grade fall interviews should take between 4-6 minutes per student.
  • Second grade interviews should take between 5-7 minutes per student.
  • Third grade interviews should take between 6-8 minutes per student.
  • Fourth grade interviews should take between 7-9 minutes per student.
  • Fifth grade interviews should take between 8-10 minutes per student.

Midyear Assessments

The midyear assessments have both an interview-based component and a written component. Please note that the “D Tasks” should be administered via pencil and paper. Interviews for the midyear and spring assessments are shorter than the fall interviews for each grade-level. You may use the same suggested times for the interview-based component as the fall interview time ranges above, targeting the lower end of the range for each of the interviews. For example, the kindergarten interviews for the midyear and spring assessments should take about 3 minutes per student, and the first grade interviews should take about 4 minutes per student.

Suggested time allotments for the written components follow below:

  • For the kindergarten through third grade assessments, the written portions should take about 30 minutes. Do not provide more than 60 minutes to complete the written portions.
  • For fourth grade, the written component should take about 30-60 minutes. Again, do not provide more than 60 minutes to complete the written portion. As the fourth grade midyear assessment is one of the longest in the assessment series, you may decide to administer the “D Tasks” section via pencil and paper during a separate administration period. Students should be provided 20 minutes to complete the “D Tasks” portion.
  • For fifth grade, the written component should take about 30-60 minutes. Do not provide more than 60 minutes to complete the written portion. As the fifth grade midyear assessment is one of the longest in the assessment series, you may decide to administer the “D Tasks” section via pencil and paper during a separate administration period. Students should be provided 30 minutes to complete the “D Tasks” portion.

Spring Assessments

Except for fifth grade, the midyear assessments have both an interview-based component and a written component. You may use the same suggested times for the interview-based component as the fall interview time ranges above, targeting the lower end of the range for each of the interviews. For example, the kindergarten interviews for the midyear and spring assessments should take about 3 minutes per student, and the first grade interviews should take about 4 minutes per student. Note that the spring fifth grade assessments only have a written component; they do not include interviews. 

Suggested time allotments for the written components follow below:

  • For the kindergarten through fourth grade assessments, the written portions should take about 30 minutes. Do not provide more than 60 minutes to complete the written portions.
  • For fifth grade, the written component should take about 30-60 minutes. Do not provide more than 60 minutes to complete the written portion. As the fifth grade spring assessment is one of the longest in the assessment series, you may decide to administer the “D Tasks” section via pencil and paper during a separate administration period. Students should be provided 30 minutes to complete the “D Tasks” portion.

Looking for more guidance on when to administer the USNS assessments? Explore this article on assessment windows.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Need Support?

Can't find the answer you're looking for?
Contact Support