Start Strong

  • The Start Strong assessments were intentionally brief, designed to maximize instructional time and quickly provide critical data to teachers and school leaders. 


    NJ Start Strong Indvidual Student Score Reports (ISR) - Mailed home week of 12/20

    NJ DOE Seal


    The 2021 Start Strong Individual Student Reports (ISRs) are shared with parents via a mailing and are also available in the NJ Parent Portal at


    There is one report for each content area in which your child tested. To view the ISRs in the parent portal, parents must create an account. If you do not already have one, please use the claim code provided on the ISR.


    The Start Strong assessments were designed to inform instruction by providing educators—as well as parents —with an early indication of the level of support students may need as they enter a new school year. The Start Strong assessments were given in the fall and assessed students on a subset of priority standards from the prior school year. For instance, a fifth grade Start Strong mathematics test focused on fourth grade New Jersey Student Learning Standards. These tests were created to help educators and families better understand, at the beginning of the school year, what educational supports students may need to succeed in the current school year.


    The fall Start Strong tests were administered instead of spring New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) for this year (2021) only, as part of the approved flexibilities offered by the U.S Department of Education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring NJSLA schedule will resume for the 2021-22 school year.


    The ISRs are meant to give you a sense of your child’s understanding in the tested content areas. On the first page, you will see that your child was assigned a “support level,” indicating how much support they may need in the content area during this school year. The second page includes a description of the major concepts that were assessed and the number of points your child earned for each one. You can use this ISR as a starting point for discussions with your child and your child’s teacher(s). For instance, you may want to ask, “What additional supports are available to help my child during the school day and beyond regular school hours?” or “How will I know if my child is improving?”


    Thank you for all you have done over the past year and a half in an evolving academic environment. Your support and encouragement inspire us to continue to make sure our students have the best opportunities to learn, engage, and succeed. We are proud to partner with you in your child’s educational journey.


     More about the Start Strong Assessments:

    • Based on a subset of prioritized prior-year academic standards;
    • Available in ELA grades 4-10, Mathematics grades 4-8, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and in Science grades 6, 9, and 12;
    • Administered in approximately 45-60 minutes;
    • Provide immediate results to educators through the assessment platform;
    • Include the same accessibility features and accommodations as the NJSLA, including forms in Spanish and Text to Speech (TTS).


    Start Strong Performance Levels


    The Start Strong assessments utilize three performance levels to aid educators and families in making decisions about the types of supports that students may need:

    • Strong Support May Be Needed
    • Some Support May Be Needed
    • Less Support May Be Needed


    The assessments are not meant to replace any preferred assessment strategies being used locally but can be used to complement existing efforts to gather standards-based data (local benchmarks, writing samples, assignments, homework, etc.) at the beginning of the school year.


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Additional Resources


    New Jersey Student Learning Assessment Parent Portal 

    The New Jersey Parent Portal provides parents and guardians online access to how their child performed on the New Jersey assessments. After creating and confirming your account, you’ll be able to log in to the Portal and enter a code found on the paper copy of your student’s Individual Student Report (ISR) to view your student’s test results and explanatory information.


    Parent Resources 

    Includes information on content & test information, test preparation, reporting guides & resources, parent portal information, and released items.


    Start Strong Tutorials 

    The purpose of these tutorials is to demonstrate the navigation and tools available for Computer- Based Assessments. The items appearing in these tutorials are samples used to allow students and educators to gain familiarity with the technology platform that is used for the NJSLA.)


    Practice Tests 

    Do you want to know what taking the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment is like? A practice test for each grade and subject is available below for you to use to familiarize yourself with the kinds of items, tools and format used for the tests.