Frequently Asked Questions


FAQ - GeneralGeneral

  • The check mark for Module 1 is part of the icon itself – it always appears regardless of completion status. Several of the other icons also contain very small check marks, and the same applies to those.

  • If TAs have attended NMAPA training in person within the last two years, they will not be required to take the online training; however, it is encouraged as they will become familiar with TIDE and ORS and they will receive a refresher on how the assessment is delivered.

    If you are marked as uncertified in TIDE but have your certificate as proof, please contact the New Mexico Help Desk to confirm eligibility and have your information updated in TIDE.

    New Mexico Help Desk

    Tel 1.800.254.6130

    Fax 1.877.231.7813

  • The New Mexico Alternate Performance Assessment (NMAPA) was administered for the first time in fall 2006. The NMAPA is designed to allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in an appropriately rigorous assessment and is aligned to both the Common Core and New Mexico Expanded Grade Band Expectations (EGBEs).

  • New Mexico has expectations designed to make the NMAPA more accessible to students with significant cognitive disabilities. These standards help to ensure that students with significant cognitive disabilities are provided with multiple ways to learn and demonstrate knowledge. Specific standards were extended among three complexity levels (1 [most independent] to 3 [most support needed]) allowing teachers to adjust for various levels of difficulty. The standards serve as the foundation for the development of the assessment tasks for the NMAPA. You can learn more about these standards by visiting

  • The NMAPA is designed to be accessible to students with diverse and significant disabilities. First, the test contains performance tasks that range in complexity. Second, the test uses picture symbols and stimuli to engage students in the content. Third, the test allows students to complete the tasks using their preferred method of communication (e.g., pointing, eye gaze, assistive technology, oral response, sign language). Fourth, two types of scripted test items are used: engagement, where the teacher rates the student’s level of involvement; and scaffolding, where students are often given multiple opportunities to respond correctly. Scaffolding occurs when a student is presented with a test question and answers incorrectly or does not respond. When this happens, one of the answer choices is removed and the student has a second opportunity to answer the question. Finally, there is no time restriction on the assessment; students may stop and resume the assessment at any point during the testing window upon discretion of the teacher. Test design documents for each subject area can be found on the Resources page of this portal.

  • In addition to learning functional life skills such as communication, self-determination, gross/fine motor skills, and social skills, it is generally accepted that all students—regardless of disability—deserve to have the same opportunity to learn academic content and demonstrate their mastery. All children, including those with the most significant cognitive disabilities must have access to the general curriculum; be involved in the general curriculum; and progress in the general curriculum. General curriculum means the same grade level academic content standards curriculum that is afforded other students. For this reason, extended standards that align to the NMAPA were designed to provide meaningful access to academic content for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Additionally, the NMAPA provides an opportunity for these students to demonstrate what they know and can do as it relates to academic content. There are also laws that require all students to participate in academic instruction and assessment. The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) reflects the intent to extend educational accountability and reform to all students, including those with disabilities. This legislation, along with the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) mandates that all students with disabilities be included in general state and district-wide assessment programs. Most students with disabilities are able to participate in the general state assessments with allowable accommodations. However, some students may qualify to participate in the alternate assessment in its place.

  • Schools have a four week window during which they will have the opportunity to administer the NMAPA: March 13 – April 7, 2017. This window was chosen to provide schools ample time to assess all eligible students at their own pace. There are no time restrictions inherent to the assessment itself, and students may stop and resume the assessment at any point. All test results must be submitted by the test administrator for the student before the end of the testing window. A test administrator designated by your child’s school will administer the assessments to your child in a one-on-one environment. Your child will be able to respond in his or her most appropriate modality (oral, signed language, picture system, or augmentative communication device) and use appropriate accommodations that have been documented by the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) team members.

  • The NMAPA is administered by grade band (3-5, 6-8, 10-11). All students will be assessed in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Students in grades 4, 7, and 11 will also be assessed in Science, and students in grade 11 will be assessed in Social Studies.

  • Only trained test administrators who are certified employees for the district may administer the NMAPA. It is the responsibility of each TA to maintain proof of training attendance per the district’s policy.

  • The student’s IEP team determines whether a student will participate in the NMAPA using the criteria for participation guidelines.

FAQ - Test MaterialsTest Materials

  • Each TA Kit includes all the content area materials needed to administer the assessment to students within a grade band (3-5, 6-8, 10-11). You cannot order just the ELA test materials, for example.

  • Test Administration Kits (TA Kits) are intended for use with multiple students. Do not order a TA Kit for each student. One TA Kit should be ordered per two teachers in a grade band.

  • Only one shipping address per district will be permitted for the NMAPA. Districts can view the shipping address in TIDE on the Order History page. Districts have the ability to change their shipping address, if necessary, via the New Mexico Help Desk at

  • UPS delivers NMAPA materials via the AIR Processing Center (APC). Shipping delivery information can be found in TIDE under the Orders tab and Track Shipments (after materials have shipped). Initial orders will arrive in districts two weeks before the first day of the test administration window.

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