The Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO) is an independent organization that measures Ontario students’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. The Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics measures, in a general sense, students’ knowledge and skills of concepts covered in their grade 9 mathematics class. Students work independently, within a time limit, to complete challenging tasks relating to multiple topics outlined in the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum. The assessment contains both Multiple Choice and Open Response questions, and draws upon a wide range of skills and knowledge.
EQAO is responsible for all aspects of the assessment itself — designing questions, setting administrative guidelines, marking the assessment, reporting the results and making recommendations for school and system improvement. School staff organize the assessment, prepare students for writing it, and provide necessary support both before and after the assessment.
EQAO reports students’ results in the fall, after the Gade 9 Assessment has been written by students in both semesters. Students receive their individual results shortly after they arrive at the school. EQAO publishes provincial, board and school results on their website.
As mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education, 30% of a student’s final mark in mathematics is determined by one or more assessments toward the end of the semester. At Cawthra Park, this 30% is broken up into two components. Selected questions from the Grade 9 Assessment account for 10% of a student’s final mark, and the remaining 20% is assessed on the final examination.
Throughout the semester, students prepare for this assessment by learning the grade 9 mathematics curriculum. Students should try some of the following strategies to get ready for the assessment:
- Review practice assessments the teacher has given and practice other problems.
- Review notes and tests from math class.
- Do a timed practice assessment without referring to the text or notes, a few days before the actual assessment.
As a parent, here are some ways in which you can help your son or daughter prepare for the assessment:
- Become more familiar with the skills required in the grade 9 mathematics curriculum. You can find the curriculum expectations on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s web site.
- Review sample assessment questions on the EQAO website.
- Ensure that your son or daughter gets enough rest on the nights before the assessment, and try to limit extra activities on those evenings.
- Ensure that your son or daughter has a nutritious breakfast and attends school on the days of the assessment.
Students who are struggling with material in their grade 9 mathematics course are encouraged to take advantage of the programs offered at Cawthra Park, including:
- Counting On You, an after-school program where students can complete homework with the assistance of Cawthra Park staff.
- Homework Help, an on-line resource offering practice problems and one-on-one chat sessions with qualified mathematics teachers.
- Peer Tutoring Program, where senior students assist grade 9 students on a mutually agreed-upon basis.