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Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)

What are the AIMS?

AIMS are four state-mandated tests -- in Writing, Reading, Math, and Science -- that are administered beginning in students' sophomore year and measure basic proficiency in these subjects.

Who Must Take the AIMS?

Except for a very small number of Exceptional Education students, all Arizona high school students must, per state law, take the AIMS.

Successful passage of the Writing, Reading, and Math portions of the exam are a graduation requirement for all Arizona high school students.

The AIMS are administered beginning students' sophomore year. Students who successfully complete all or some sections of the exam need never take that test again. Students who need to re-take the exams have opportunities through their senior year to retest at fall and spring administrations of the tests.

How are the AIMS Scored?

AIMS exams are written, published, and scored by a testing firm contracted by the state of Arizona. Students' performance are measured against state standards. Exam grades are "Falling Far Below" (the standards), "Approaches" (the standards), "Meets" (the standards), or "Exceeds" (the standards). Students who "Meet" or "Exceed" the standards in Writing, Reading, and Math, and who have successfully completed all required high school graduation course requirements, may be awarded a diploma.

When are the AIMS Given?

The fall administration of AIMS exams, only for current juniors and seniors who have not passed portions of the AIMS, will be held:
  • WRITING - Tuesday, October 22, 2013
  • READING - Wednesday, October 23, 2013
  • MATH - Thursday, October 24, 2013

The spring administration of AIMS exams, for all sophomores, and for current juniors and seniors who have not passed portions of the AIMS, will be held:

  • WRITING - Monday, February 24, 2014
  • READING - Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • MATH - Tuesday, April 8, 2014
  • SCIENCE - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are AIMS Tests Timed?

No. Although most students complete each portion of the test in approximately 3 hours, students may work on their tests until the end of the regular school day.

What is Catalina's Schedule on Test Days?

For the fall administration of AIMS, Catalina runs on its regular bell schedule. All students who are not testing report to all classes at the usual times.

For the spring administration of AIMS, all sophomores, and any juniors or seniors who need to retake all or parts of the tests are expected to report to their testing locations by 7:30 a.m. on the day of the test. Students who arrive late may not, at test proctors' discretion, be allowed to test.

Students who have already passed AIMS will report to school on a "late-in" schedule. A detailed bell schedule for AIMS testing days can be found here.

Is There Testing for Freshmen?

Yes. On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 all freshmen will take the Stanford-10, a timed test the results of which give students and their parents a good indicator of how the student will perform on the AIMS exams their sophomore year.

I've Heard that Students Who Do Well on the AIMS Can Receive College Scholarship Money. Is This True?

Yes! High school juniors who achieve scores of "Exceeds" in Reading, Writing, and Math, and who also have good grades can qualify for state tuition waivers that cover up to 25% of the student's in-state tuition. If you are a Catalina junior who has already received a grade of "Meets" in all three sections of the AIMS, see Mr. Berry to sign up to retake the tests for "Exceeds." This offer, with deadlines for signing up, will be announced repeatedly before the exams, but only those students who have contacted Mr. Berry by the deadline dates can be accommodated.

More information about the state tuition waiver program can be found here.

When Do I Get the Results of Testing?

Catalina usually receives AIMS scores for the spring tests in late May. Results for the fall testing usually arrive in late December. Paper copies are distributed to students, but parents who have accounts at TUSDStats Parent Access may also view results online. To register for a free, private Parent Access account, please see Parent Access. (You may also view other information about your student, including grades and attendance, through this personalized and confidential service.)

I Still Have Questions!

For further information about AIMS testing, please do not hesitate to contact David Berry, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, or your student's counselor.