Achievement Level Definitions, Science Grade 8

Science achievement level definitions describe the quality of a student’s responses on state-level alternate assessments in relation to the alternate science standards. These definitions serve as the foundation for achievement level definitions for the alternate grade level expectations in science.

Skills associated with these achievement level definitions may include some of the following:

  • Identifying or demonstrating ways objects can move
  • Identifying that an object’s motion can be changed by pushing or pulling
  • Identifying or describing wave motions, earthquakes, vibrations and/or water waves
  • Identifying human body parts
  • Matching animals and/or plants to their parts
  • Identifying parts that allow living things to meet basic needs
  • Identifying that some living things are made of one cell and some are made of many cells
  • Identifying parents and offspring
  • Demonstrating an understanding of life cycles and/or identifying similar and different characteristics of offspring and parents

Appropriate performance at grade eight is clarified by the level of complexity within the standard.

Proficient with Distinction
The student’s performance demonstrates an understanding of essential concepts in science, including the ability to make connections among central ideas. The student’s response demonstrates the ability to utilize information and solve problems and explain central concepts with clarity and accuracy.

Proficient
The student’s performance demonstrates a general understanding of essential concepts in science and connections among central ideas. The student’s response demonstrates the ability to utilize information and solve problems and explain central concepts. Student work may contain minor errors.

Partially Proficient
The student’s performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of essential concepts in science and inconsistent connections among central ideas. The student’s response demonstrates some ability to utilize information and solve problems. The quality of the responses is inconsistent. Explanation of concepts may be incomplete or unclear.

Substantially Below Proficient
The student’s performance demonstrates limited understanding of essential concepts in science and infrequent or inaccurate connections among central ideas. The student’s responses demonstrate minimal ability to solve problems. Explanations are illogical, incomplete or missing. There are many inaccuracies.