Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards Alternate (AIMS A), administered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), measures what students know and are able to do in the content area of Science as presented in the Arizona Alternate Academic Standards. Students will receive test reports with specific information detailing their progress toward meeting the standards. (For the content areas of ELA and Mathematics, please click here to access the ADE NCSC web page)

Testing Dates

AIMS A Science February 15 – March 31, 2015: (grades 4, 8, and 10 only) This assessment will continue to be administered with multiple choice and performance tasks.
NCSC ELA and MathematicsSpring 2015: (grades 3-8 and 11th grade) click here to access NCSC web page


AIMS A Science – (grades 4, 8, and 10 only)
NCSC ELA and Mathematics (grades 3-8 and 11th grade)

New! Alternate Assessment Eligibility Combined Form (NCSC/AIMS A)

AIMS A Current Eligibility:

1. Evidence of a significant cognitive disability in all areas.

2. Curricular Outcomes – the student has access to high-quality instruction based on Alternate Academic Standards (Science) and the student’s IEP goals and objectives focus on enrolled grade-level Alternate Academic standards.

3. Intensity of Instruction – extremely difficult for student to acquire, maintain, generalize and apply academic skill across environments.

NCSC Alternate Assessment Eligibility:

1. The student has a significant cognitive disability – review of the student records indicates a disability or multiple disabilities that significantly impact intellectual functional and adaptive behavior.

2. The student is learning content linked to (derived from) the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – goals and instruction listed in the IEP for this student are linked to the enrolled grade level CCSS and address knowledge and skills that are appropriate and challenging for this student.

3. The student requires extensive direct individualized instructional and substantial supports to achieve measurable gains in the grade and age appropriate curriculum – the student (a) requires intensive, repeated individualized instruction and support that is not of temporary or transient in nature and (b) uses substantially adapted materials and individualized methods in alternative ways to acquire, maintain, generalize, demonstrate, and transfer skills across multiple settings.

The NCSC Eligibility Criteria can be located on the ADE NCSC Webpage under General Information.


– Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS) – this is a term that is used to describe an Alternate Assessment. Alternate Achievement Standards are not the same as Alternate Academic Standards.

– Alternate Achievement Standards descriptors of how well a student may demonstrate proficiency via the alternate assessment.

– Alternate Academic Standards standards developed for students with significant cognitive disabilities and were aligned to Arizona’s Academic Content Standards. [The previous Alternate Academic Standards for Reading and Mathematics are no longer applicable; they were removed and archived.]

Please contact us at (602) 542-8239 or at if you have any questions.

Test Coordinators

IMPORTANTSchool Year 2014-15 Test Coordinator:

Frequently monitor the following webpages:

    1. Alternate Assessment Test Coordinators web page
    2. AIMS A (this page)
    3. NCSC web page

Teachers/Test Administrators

AIMS A Science (grades 4, 8, and 10 only) This assessment will continue to be administered with multiple choice and performance tasks.

NCSC ELA and Mathematics (grades 3-8 and 11th grade)

IMPORTANT Going forward into the 2014–2015 school year, IEP teams must remember to address assessment eligibility and accommodations for both alternate assessments, AIMS A (Science) and NCSC (Math and ELA).
-NCSC (Math and ELA) assesses eligible students grades 3–8 and grade 11.
-AIMS A (Science) assesses eligible students grades 4, 8, and 10 or second year of high school.

Information regarding NCSC accommodations and eligibility criteria can be located on the ADE NCSC Webpage under General Information.

Forms, Manuals & Test Samples



Training Manuals

Test Samples

Tech Requirements

The multiple choice section of the AIMS A may be completed on desktops/laptops, or on white interactive boards, I-pads.

Videos & Webinars

Performance Tasks Videos – The following Performance Tasks Script and Lessons in PDF format are available for you to download. Select the PDF link or the video link associated with each item.


Tidbits Newsletters
Tidbits JULY 2014; JUNE 2014; MAY 2014; MARCH-APRIL 2014; FEB 2014; JAN 2014
2013: NOV-DEC 2013; OCT 2013; AUG-SEPT 2013; JUNE-JULY 2013
The Examiner assessment newsletter button

The Examiner is a quarterly newsletter for test coordinators. Please visit the AIMS A pages.
(click on the button)

Tech Reports

Contact Information

Please contact us by emailing the Alternate Assessment inbox or at (602) 542-8239

Audra Ahumada
Director of Alternate Assessment
(602) 542-4061

Cynthia Roller
Alternate Assessment Coordinator
(602) 542-3059

Patricia Reynolds
Professional Development & State Assessment Specialist
(602) 364-1296

Angeles Swasey
Program Project Specialist
(602) 542-8239

Physical Location
Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services/Assessment
Alternate Assessment
1535 West Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-8239