Alternate Proficiency Assessment


The Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) is used to measure the achievement of students with significant disabilities who cannot complete the types of items on the general statewide assessment for their grade.
The APA is a portfolio-based assessment that includes a collection of the student’s work in two content areas: Math and Language Arts/Literacy.

How the APA is Scored:

  • For each content area, there are two levels that are considered: Student Progress Level and Program Level.
  • Each level looks at criteria or dimensions that are considered important in the instruction of students with significant disabilities.
  • The Student Progress Level has only one dimension: Student Progress, which is supposed to measure the extent to which students show progress towards achieving a targeted skill.

The Program Level encompasses five dimensions:

  1. Connection to the Standards (measures the number of activities that are standards-based)
  2. Social Interaction (measures amount of social interactions involving students with and without disabilities that are documented in the portfolio)
  3. Independence (measures the level of adaptations, accommodations, modifications, supports, and assistive technology that are documented in the portfolio)
  4. Self-Determination (measures a student’s opportunity to make choices and demonstrate self-direction and self-evaluation behaviors)
  5. Generalization (measures the extent to which the instruction and application of targeted skills takes place in a variety of environments in school, the home, and in the community)

In the Student Progress Level, a student can be classified into three levels: Substantial Progress, Considerable Progress, or Some or No Progress
The Program Level is also classified into three levels: Commendable, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement.

The Final Proficiency Level is determined by combining the results from the Student Progress Level and Program Level. The Proficiency Levels are the same as other state assessments (Advanced Proficient, Proficient, and Partially Proficient) and will be combined with state assessments for accountability purposes.

The following table shows how the results from each level are combined to determined Proficiency Level:

Student Progress Level
Substantial Considerable Some or No
Program Level Commendable Advanced Proficient Advanced Proficient Proficient
Satisfactory Proficient Proficient Proficient
Needs Improvement Proficient Partially Proficient Partially Proficient

The 2001-2002 Results from the APA are as follows:

New Jersey APA Proficiency Classification for Language Arts: All Grades

Proficiency Level Number Percent
Advanced Proficient 195 7.3
Proficient 1988 74.5
Partially Proficient 485 18.2
Total 2668 100

New Jersey APA Proficiency Classification for Mathematics: All Grades

Proficiency Level Number Percent
Advanced Proficient 203 7.6
Proficient 1948 73.3
Partially Proficient 507 19.1
Total 2658 100

This fact sheet was created with information from the New Jersey Department of Education’s presentation, Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA): 2001-2002 Results. Available: