ERB Testing

Each year, all 4th – 8th grade students take the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) tests published by Educational Records Bureau (ERB), and classroom teachers serve as proctors for their grade. Test results help parents understand where their child is at, and helps ensure Emerson is delivering on it’s promise to be a school where students thrive.

Classroom time is not spent preparing for these tests, students are discouraged from doing any test prep at home, and a total of about four hours is spent testing each year.

+ ERB Parent Guide
+ 2016-2017 Grade Level Median Percentiles

ERB Test Results Compiled
Emerson places higher than other independent schools and the top-performing public schools in every subject area.

  • Mathematics: 94th
  • Quantitative reasoning: 96th
  • Reading comprehension: 87th
  • Writing mechanics: 90th
  • Verbal reasoning: 94th
  • Vocabulary: 95th

2016-2017 ERB Results

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CTP Online?
The CTP (Comprehensive Testing Program) Online is designed as a diagnostic instructional tool for high-achieving schools setting high standards. The CTP Online is the fourth edition of the achievement tests.

What is the Educational Records Bureau (ERB)?
The Educational Records Bureau is a non-profit educational service organization that has overseen the development, administration, and scoring of tests for more than 1,300 independent and suburban public school members since 1927.

Why administer the CTP tests?
The purpose of the CTP is to gather extra information about students that helps parents and the school understand and meet their instructional needs. Most public and independent schools administer some form of an annual assessment test. As an independent school, Emerson has given these tests to 4th – 8th graders for many years.

What achievement tests will be given?
There are four language arts and three mathematics tests.

How long are the tests?
Students spend a total of four hours testing. Most of the tests are timed, ranging from 20 to 45 minutes. In 4th grade only, there is an auditory comprehension section which is not timed. Fourth grade teachers will set the pace for this test.

When will the tests occur?
Middle School students will test from Monday Jan. 30 through Thursday, Feb. 2. Lower School will test from Monday Jan. 30 through Friday, Feb. 3.
If there are snow days, the schedule will be revised.

What if there are snow days?
If there are snow days, the ERB test(s) for those days will be rescheduled. We have deliberately scheduled extra days in the testing period to have a cushion if it is needed.

What if my child is late to school or is absent?
Make-ups will be offered for students absent due to illness or bereavement. However, we cannot offer make-up tests to students who arrive late or miss school due to dental or routine medical appointments, vacations, or sporting events.

What if my child is ill during testing and needs to participate in a make-up test(s)?
In order to avoid students missing instruction time, make-ups will occur Thursday, Feb. 9 and Friday, Feb. 10 during the school day. Please note that these make-up tests are voluntary. If students miss a test(s) and can’t come during the make up testing, their results will simply lack a score for that particular test(s).

How are the test results used at Emerson?
Administrators and teachers meet to go over the results. Although a student’s ERB scores can provide interesting insight, your child’s results are only one piece of information about his/her school performance and are only useful in the context of looking at your child’s class work, ongoing classroom evaluations, class participation, and teachers’ observations.

Can parents learn how their child scores in relation to his/her classmates?
Emerson does not compile a grade or class ranking for Emerson students. A ranking system would conflict with the school’s philosophy and policy of evaluating students on an individual basis—encouraging each one to perform to the best of his/her potential.

Do I need to help my child prepare for this test?
Parents and children are not expected, nor are they encouraged to prepare for the tests. Emerson students do well on these tests and have scored at high levels consistently for many years. We have found that asking students to prep for the test sometimes has the effect of increasing their anxiety, which can interfere with their ability to recall information. Of equal importance, your child needs to be well rested.

What are the questions like?
The questions are the same types of questions the students had with the paper/pencil tests in previous years. In January, all students in grades 4–8 will be introduced to the tests and have the opportunity to take the practice tests in either their Computer classes (Grades 4–5) or during Language and Math classes in the Middle School.

Demonstration Tests
+ Demonstration tests are available here to help students and parents see how they work
Fourth graders take Level 3 tests; fifth graders take Level 4 tests, etc. For the practice tests, the 8th graders do the Level 4-6 Language and Level 4-6 Math demonstration tests. These practice tests are intended to give teachers, parents, and students an idea of what the actual online tests are like and how to navigate them.

What is a secure browser?
Students will use a secure browser on the day of their test and enter a number that is generated right before that test. That number will link them to the current test the class will take. They cannot click out of the test to ‘look up’ answers.

Why do you test online? Are there any benefits?

  • Online testing shows if a student skipped questions and, with a click, the student can go directly back to the missed question to answer.
  • Students can never get “off by a line” and have their answers skewed by filling in a bubble in the wrong line.
  • If there is time, students can go back and review all of their answers.
  • Students can still use scrap paper, which they will be provided for all testing sessions.
  • Students only see one question at a time on the screen, rather than the entire test booklet. Schools often report less anxiety as a result of this difference from the paper-and-pencil version.
  • Students can see the question number they are on out of the total number of questions in the test, plus a timer clock in the upper right corner of the screen shows the remaining time.
  • If a bathroom break is needed by a student in the middle of testing, his/her test is paused without time penalty and may be automatically resumed at the same point.
  • If there is a power outage or Internet failure, the test is paused where that failure occurred and will resume at that same point (for all students) when the problem is resolved.
  • Some schools reported test scores went up when they administered this online version.

Who should you contact with questions?
+ Renee Durrant

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ERB Demonstration Tests

Demonstration tests give teachers, parents, and students an understanding of what the actual online tests are like and how to navigate them. The test linked below is the same link students will use to take the demonstration tests at school.

  • The demonstration tests are not scored or saved.
  • Like the actual test, the demonstration tests will show questions you might have skipped. This gives you the opportunity to go back and answer the question(s) so they won’t be left blank.
  • Unlike the actual test, the demonstration tests will show which questions were incorrect and what the correct answer was.

+ ERB Demonstration Tests

Fourth graders take Level 3 tests; 5th graders take Level 4 tests, etc. For the practice tests, the 8th graders do the Level 4-6 Language and Level 4-6 Math demonstration tests.

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