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)For additional information, please make your selection from the accordion below:

Testing Dates – Science AIMS A
AIMS A Science – (grades 4, 8, and 10 only) This assessment will continue to be administered with multiple choice and performance tasks. February 15 – March 31, 2015
NCSC ELA and Mathematics (grades 3-8 and 11th grade) Spring 2015 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)

AIMS A Current Eligibility:

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

2. Curricular Outcomes – has access to high quality instruction based on Alternate Academic Standards in all content areas tested and student IEP goals and objectives focused on enrolled grade 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
IMPORTANT – School Year 2014-16 Test Coordinator:

Monitor frequently 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. You MUST have an active account with IDEAL in order to view the videos. Once you have access to IDEAL, sign in and the videos can be accessed through “Curriculum Resources” located on the left side menu. Then select AIMs for Educators, click “Go”; then under ”Resources” click AIMS A Performance Tasks Scoring Rubric Demonstration. *The 3rd video will not display unless you click “show score context” that will pop up at bottom of your screen.

Tidbits Newsletters 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

Office Location

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