Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and no.
On March 28, 2018 NYSED announced that our Checkpoint B examinations in Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish were approved for use in the Multiple Pathways to Graduation program.
Our Checkpoint B examination in American Sign Language is not yet approved for this purpose, however, we hope to have our ASL examination approved for June 2019.
All exams produced by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES are aligned to the NYSED Regents LOTE Curriculum and maintain a scaffolded approach to content. This was done to replicate the format and thoroughness of the former Regents LOTE Examination in the testing of the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Culture is embedded in our test via the reading selections, listening narratives and authentic realia. In recent years we have begun to incorporate more questions involving the interpretive mode stemming from the ACTFL standards: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.
Teachers who have been selected to write questions are experienced teachers who currently teach the level for which they are writing. These selected teachers are well known for their professional integrity and language proficiency.
Examinations are compiled from a pool of items that have been created by the aforementioned teachers. Team Leaders are retired teachers and experts in the field. Team Leaders have no vested interest in the results of the exams.
Complete data analysis has been done on all previous administrations of our exams. This data is used to identify negative question discrimination, faulty answer distractors, and general question difficulty. Each exam question is reviewed by a panel of veteran language teachers and heritage speakers to assess validity, reliability, and authenticity.
According to the NYSED web page for Multiple Pathways:
The New York State Board of Regents approved regulations establishing multiple, comparably rigorous assessment pathways to graduation for all students. Multiple pathways recognize the importance of engaging students in rigorous and relevant academic programs. The recently approved regulations recognize students’ interests in the Arts, Biliteracy, Career/Technical Education, Humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by allowing an approved pathway assessment to meet the students’ graduation requirements.
Found on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the New York State Education Department’s Multiple Pathways web page, 4+1 Pathways is further described:
Students who first enter grade nine in September 2011 and thereafter or who are otherwise eligible to graduate in June 2015 or thereafter, have the following options available in order to meet the assessment requirements leading to a Regents or Local diploma:
⬛ Pass four (4) required Regents examinations or Department Approved Alternatives as follows: ELA Regents exam, 1 math Regents exam, 1 science Regents exam, 1 social studies Regents exam.
⬛ Plus any one (1) of the following options:
⬜ [other options removed]
⬜ Pass a Department approved pathway assessment in a Language other than English (LOTE)
Yes. Exam orders should be submitted as soon as possible so that we have enough time to print and ship the exams to your school district.
Please visit our Exam Information page to learn more.
Please refer to the Terms of Administration document found on the Important Documents page. Any school who wishes to order our examinations must agree to comply with these terms.
Our examinations will be administered each January and June.
In January, we require schools to administer our Checkpoint B examinations concurrent with the Algebra I Regents examination. In June, our Checkpoint A and B examinations must be administered on the date recommended by the New York State Education Department. This information is available on the New York State Regents Examination schedule.
To protect the security of our examinations, we do NOT allow school districts to determine their own date and time of administration.
Yes and no.
For school districts that intend to use our exams as a local final: We do not require specific coursework to prepare students for our examinations, however, we do recommend that students be enrolled in coursework that prepares them for success on our examinations.
For school districts that intend to use our exams as a proficiency exam and/or to qualify their students to earn a New York State diploma with advanced designation: Our examinations are available to any student who wishes to take them provided that the school district adheres to our Terms of Administration and the minimum course requirements stated in the Commissioner’s regulations 100.5(b).
For school districts that intend to use the exam to qualify their students for the 4+1 Pathways to Graduation program: At this time, NYSED's Frequently Asked Questions about the Multiple Pathways document states:
4. What courses must a student complete in order to meet the pathway requirements?
The pathway regulations address assessment requirements only. Generally, with the exception of credit by exam outlined in Commissioner’s regulations 100.5(d), a student must complete the course designed to culminate in the assessment they wish to take. For example, if the student wishes to use Geometry for the +1 pathway assessment, s/he must complete the Geometry course before being allowed into the examination.
Yes. It is possible to carry over student's Conversation / Role Play scores from previous administrations of the Checkpoint B exam only. This is true under the following conditions:
1. The Conversation / Role Play tasks that were previously administered were created by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES*; and
2. The administration of the Conversation / Role Play tasks occurred as part of the immediate previous examination offered by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.
May I transfer student scores from June to January? Yes
May I transfer student scores from June to June? No
Protocols for enabling students to take advantage of this accommodation are the same as they are for Regents examinations except, instead of filling out the NYSED application for each student, districts will need to fill out the OHM BOCES adapted version of the application located on our Important Documents page.
For more information on Next Day Completion for Regents and/or Pathway examinations, please see this memo from NYSED.
All parts of our Checkpoint A/B examinations will be scored locally / in-district by certified language teachers who must follow the scoring criteria found in the examination's respective Manual for Administration and Scoring provided by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES on our Important Documents page.
Because our Checkpoint B examinations are approved by NYSED for use as a Pathways assessment, NYSED requires that the teacher of record not be allowed to score any parts of the examination that receive a subjective score (e.g. Part 1: Conversation / Role Play and Part 4: Writing). This policy applies only to our Checkpoint B examinations.
NYSED has offered the following suggestions for meeting this scoring criterion: 1) Assign someone other than the student's teacher to administer and simultaneously score the Conversation / Role Play session, 2) Have the student's teacher administer the Conversation / Role Play session while a disinterested teacher is in the room and simultaneously scores the student's responses, and 3) Have the student's teacher administer the Conversation / Role Play session and record the student's responses. The audio/video recording would subsequently be scored by a disinterested teacher. Please note that if this option is chosen, the audio/video recordings must be destroyed once the student responses have been scored.
Note: All examinations may be recalled by Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES for the purpose of data analysis after local scoring has taken place.
Yes and no.
The Manuals for Administering and Scoring each of our examinations are available on our Important Documents page.
The Answer Key for the multiple choice-based parts of our examinations will be made available only on the Buzz Learning Management System on the date of administration of our examinations. The Answer Key will be released at 12:00 pm for examinations that occur in the morning and at 4:00 pm for examinations that occur in the afternoon.
Note: For specific instructions that explain how you can access secure documents, such as the scoring key, please see the Instructions to Access Secure Documents found on our Important Documents page.
Please visit our Order Exams page for further instruction.
Yes. All orders may be submitted via our online ordering system by December 15 for examinations administered in January and by May 15 for June examinations each year. The January examinations may be ordered starting each year in September while the order period for June examinations opens in February.
We encourage school districts to order our January examinations by the end of October so that the Conversation / Roleplay tasks may be administered to students starting as soon as November 15. Likewise, we also encourage school districts to place orders for June examinations by the end of March so that Conversation / Roleplay tasks may be administered to students as soon as April 1.
Note: Orders that are submitted to us after the deadline may be fulfilled on a case-by-case basis dependent on our ability to provide the exam to the school in a timely manner.
Schools may elect to pay for their examinations in one of three ways: 1) An invoice sent to the district with direct payment expected, 2) an adjustment to service for districts who have already committed money to our World Languages Examination co-service for the current fiscal year, or 3) a cross-contract purchase between your district's local BOCES and Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.
Exam orders will be fulfilled based on the order in which they are submitted. Expect to receive a shipment of the Conversation / Role Play Cards approximately 1-3 weeks prior to November 15 for January examinations and April 1 for June examinations. Likewise, Student and Teacher Examination Booklets will arrive at your district 1-3 weeks before the administration date of our examinations.
Note: If your school has special delivery requirements and/or timelines, please indicate as such on the online order form. We will do our best to accommodate such requests.
Each school district that orders exams will receive a single shipment of the Conversation / Role Play cards (if ordered) and a single shipment of Student Examinations Booklets. These shipments will be delivered to a central location that is supplied to us on the order form submitted by the district. If multiple school buildings within a single school district need to take our exams, the school district is responsible for local delivery of the examinations.
Note: The security of our examinations is of the utmost importance. Conversation / Role Play Cards, Student Examination Booklets, and Teacher Examination Booklets must remain secure until the date and time of each examination's administration.
After your school district submits an online order form, each person indicated as a teacher of record will receive an email with instructions that explain how they can access the Part 1: Conversation / Role Play tasks via the Buzz Learning Management System (LMS). Other secure materials, such as the scoring key, will become available in Buzz at the appropriate time.
Important Note: Each school building has a unique URL to access Buzz. The aforementioned email that will contain that URL. Alternatively, you can look-up your school building's URL for Buzz from our Buzz Look-up page. Your username will be the email address that is provided to us on the order form. Use the "Forgot Password" button on the Buzz login page to generate your initial password.
The cost of the exam is:
- $5.75 per student per exam
- $80 processing fee per school
- The cost of shipping the exams to your school district (to be calculated based on volume and distance)
Available: $4.00 per set of Conversation / Role Play cards plus shipping costs
Note: Each iteration of our examinations will have unique Conversation / Role Play tasks. These tasks are also available digitally at no charge via Buzz. Directions that explain how to access the Conversation / Roleplay tasks on Buzz will be sent to teachers after an order form is submitted by your school district. These tasks must be kept secure in perpetuity, however, they may be used for practice with students only after the exam for which they are intended has been administered.