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New Jersey Alternate Proficiency Assessment
Performance Level Descriptors
Science

(February 2009) 

High School Biology

Partially Proficient

High School Biology students performing at the partially proficient level may require prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while recalling knowledge and demonstrate emerging skills in characteristics of life and environmental studies with inconsistent performance. Partially proficient students will typically use fewer categories to:

  • Identify the components involved in photosynthesis and their role in the energy cycle of life
  • Identify the process of evolution by natural selection.  Identify the impact of inherited traits and the environment on natural selection.
  • Identify the impact of human actions and/or naturally occurring processes on the environment
  • Identify the ways human actions impact the ecosystems

Partially proficient students will sometimes demonstrate the ability to identify vocabulary, collect and record data and make a few connections to their real-life experiences.

Proficient

High School Biology students performing at the proficient level may require some prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while recalling knowledge and demonstrating skills in characteristics of life and environmental studies with increased performance. Proficient students will typically be able to:

  • Describe the process of photosynthesis and its role in the energy cycle of life.
  • Describe the process of evolution by natural selection.  Describe the impact of inherited traits and the environment on natural selection.
  • Describe, compare and/or contrast the impact of human actions versus naturally occurring processes on the environment
  • Use data to assess the impact of human actions on the ecosystems

Proficient students will frequently demonstrate the ability to comprehend vocabulary, use data to draw conclusions and make connections to the real-world.

Advanced Proficient

High school Biology students performing at the advanced proficient level will demonstrate the qualities outlined for the proficient student.  They may require minimal prompting, modifications and/or additional supports while applying vocabulary, knowledge and skills to explain the characteristics of life and topics in environmental studies with a high-level of performance.  Advanced proficient students will typically be able to perform skills such as: make predictions, observe, collect and analyze data, support conclusions and make inferences relating to the real-world.