Given over a period of three days, The English Language Arts test, or the ELA, tests children in New York, grades 3-8, on their reading, writing and listening skills. There are a number of resources available to students and parents that will help ensure children in the New York City area will pass the ELA. Because the test is broken down into three components, children need to enhance and focus in on their reading, writing and listening skills.

Prepare In Advance

Step 1

It is important for the child to know what is expected of them before they sit down in the classroom and begin testing. Parents can download copies of previous exams specific to each grade level at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/osa. Familiarizing the children with the test will help them become comfortable and confident. The website also includes scoring information which will help parents see what is expected of their child. The child will benefit from practicing the tests from former years.

Step 2

Daily reading will help the child with the reading comprehension section of the ELA exam. It is important to ensure your child is reading a book challenging enough to enhance their reading skills. After each reading session the child should record what they read and what they predict will happen. Writing about their reading shows that the child is not only decoding the words, but comprehending the text. To build their vocabulary, they should also keep record of unfamiliar words from the reading and define the words after each chapter.

Step 3

Find short stories or passages that is on the child's grade level. Tell the child to listen carefully to the story and then informally discuss what was read. Once the child becomes accustomed to listening for meaning, encourage them to take notes as you read. Important things to record are: main characters, setting, main event, and any other important details. After reading present the child with questions based on what was read. They can use their notes to answer.

Step 4

Keep the child writing thorough out the ELA preparation. The state exam scores students on their written expression,and it is therefore important, for the child to continuously write. Practice grade level grammar that the child has learned and ensure they can incorporate it into their written responses. Grade level grammar book that can be purchased at local books stores can reinforce the fundamentals needed for success.