The History of our Exam
Prior to the announcement that the New York State Regents Examinations in Languages other than English (LOTE) were to be phased out, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES took the initiative to begin development of our own LOTE examinations in Mandarin Chinese, for which no New York State Regents Examination existed at that time.
Using our experience in developing LOTE examinations in Mandarin Chinese as a model, we have created other World Languages examinations in American Sign Language, French, Italian, and Spanish. Refer to the chart below for specifics on which exams are offered at specific times of the year.
In 2017, the Office of State Assessment at NYSED announced that they were accepting applications to have Checkpoint B examinations approved to qualify for the 4+1 Pathways to Graduation initiative. Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES was excited to submit our exams to the Office of State Assessment and did so immediately. In late March of 2018, the New York State Education Department announced the approval of our exams for 4+1 Pathways to Graduation to the schools across New York State.
What exams are available?
When are examinations administered?
To ensure the security of our examinations, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES requires that all schools who adopt our examination administer it concurrently throughout New York State. As such, each year we will publish specific dates and times in which our examinations must be administered. In January, we currently aim to select the same date and time that the Algebra I Regents examination is administered. In June, we will select the date and time that NYSED recommends for World Languages Checkpoint Examinations as published on their Regents Schedule.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the following dates and times will be used for our Checkpoint Examinations:
- January Checkpoint B Examinations - 1/22/20 in the afternoon
- June Checkpoint A Examinations - 6/22/20 in the morning
- June Checkpoint B Examinations - 6/22/20 in the afternoon
How are the Examinations Structured?
2019-2020 Updates to Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Examinations
As indicated in the table above, effective with the June 2020 Checkpoint A examination, questions will be redistributed to create a better balance of point values among its various parts. Part 2: Listening will be reduced from 20 questions to 15 questions (2a-6, 2b-4, and 2c-5). The five (5) questions removed from Part 2: Listening will be shifted to Part 3: Reading Comprehension. This will be done via the addition of five (5) questions in newly created Part 3c: Text-Infused Stimulus. Part 3c: Text-Infused Stimulus will include a mixture of questions written in the target language and English that are based on two Checkpoint A level text-infused stimuli. Examples of such test-infused stimuli may include: a short text message exchange, an invitation card, an advertisement, an announcement, or other stimuli of the like. Samples of these questions will be released in the fall of 2019.
As a reminder, the following updates were made effective to Checkpoint A examinations in June 2019 and remain in effect:
- Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay* now includes two (2) Conversation/Roleplay tasks instead of four (4). Each Conversation/Roleplay consists of five (5) utterances worth up to two (2) points each. Each conversation/roleplay combines together two communicative function categories (Socializing + Providing/Obtaining Information or Expressing Feelings/Opinions + Persuasion).
- Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay no longer includes the quality point.
- Part 4: Writing now has two parts. Part 4a: Interpersonal Writing has a single read-to-write task in the form of a written response to an email prompt. This task is required. Part 4b: Presentational Writing has two choices, from which the student must select one: a prompt written in English along with bulleted suggestions or a picture prompt along with bulleted suggestions. For either, the student must compose a written response that is appropriate to the task.
To ensure understanding and uniformity of/in the administration and scoring of our examinations, manuals have been updated and posted on the Important Documents page of our website. These manuals include rubrics that were updated to score Part 4: Writing starting with the June 2019 examination.
*Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay tasks must be administered and scored at least five days prior to the administration of Parts 2-4. Schools may begin administering these tasks on April 1 for our June examinations.
Effective January 2020, Checkpoint B examinations will incorporate interpersonal writing into Part 4: Writing, as has already been done in Checkpoint A examinations. This change will be phased into the January 2020 examinations as an option for students to choose in Part 4: Writing. This applies to the January 2020 examination only. On this examination, students will have four (4) options from which to choose on Part 4: Writing, including:
- NEW! A written response to an email prompt. Samples of this prompt will be released in the fall of 2019.
- A written response to a short text-based prompt along with suggestions to include in the response in the form of bullets
- A written response to a second short text-based prompt along with suggestions to include in the response in the form of bullets
- A written response to a picture prompt
Effective June 2020, however, Part 4: Writing will be restructured into Part 4A: Interpersonal Writing and Part 4B: Presentational Writing. Part 4a: Interpersonal Writing will have a single read-to-write task in the form of a written response to an email prompt. This task is required. Part 4B: Presentational Writing will have two choices, of which the student must select one: a prompt written in English along with bulleted suggestions or a picture prompt along with bulleted suggestions. For either, the student must write a narrative that is appropriate to the task.
To ensure understanding and uniformity of/in the administration and scoring of our examinations, manuals have been updated and posted on the Important Documents page of our website. These updated manuals include drafts of rubrics that have been updated to score Part 4: Writing starting with the January 2020 examination. We expect these draft rubrics to be finalized in the fall of 2019. Substantial changes to the draft rubrics will not be made once they are published in their finalized versions.
Note: The changes to Checkpoint B examinations described above apply only to the voiced languages of Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish. The changes do not apply to American Sign Language.
What is the cost of the examinations?
The cost of our examinations is as follows:
- $5.75 per student examination
- $80 processing fee per order*
- The cost of shipping determined by volume and distance**
- If requested, $4.00 per class set of Part 1: Conversation/Roleplay cards***
*Paid once annually
**The OHM BOCES courier service will deliver examinations, at no additional expense, to our component districts and districts that subscribe to that co-service.
***For schools that order our examinations, digital versions of the Conversation/Roleplay tasks are also available for free via the Buzz Learning Management System. The following people will be given access to these tasks unless otherwise specified by the person who submits the order:
- The person who submits the order
- Each teacher of record identified in the order
- Each grader identified in the order
The people identified above will receive an email detailing how they can gain secure access to these tasks on Buzz.