arizona aims

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

From California and Arizona on the west coast to Chicago and Texas to New York and Florida on the east coast, parents want to know how to help their kids prepare to do well on their state’s standardized exams. So what are some ways you can help your students prepare for state examples?

Let’s look at Arizona’s AIMS test as an example:


1. Review the Common Core Standards of the Arizona Department of Education
– This will let you see, by grade level and subject, what the AIMS Math test makers expect students to be able to do by certain grades.

5th grade fractions problem from AIMS test

Where to go:

Tip: Search “flipbook” on the AZED site for math flipbooks for each grade level (note that “high school” covers all high school grades). This may be an easier way to read through the masses of information. Example here for high school


Try This! It’s a 5th grade AIMS Math Test problem from 2007. (Answer a bottom of blog)  —————–>


2. Do practice problems or whole practice tests with your kids

– Trying actual problems from past years can be very revealing about where a kid is strong academically and where there may be some areas that need reinforcement.

– If you struggle in helping your kids (with the content, with staying focused, or in any other way), then consider pairing up with another family and running group “practice lessons,” have an older sibling take the lead role, or get a tutor to help.

Where to go:

Sample AIMS Problems on AZDE Website



– Main image at top: C

– Fractions problem: C



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Laura earned a Master's degree in Secondary Education plus Teaching Certification for Mathematics and Psychology in both AZ and CA. Her undergraduate work was in Psychology with a minor in German from UCLA where she graduated magna cum laude. She has been tutoring since the 90's, was a high school teacher 2006-2011, and still teaches for a local college. Laura is passionate about teaching, learning, entrepreneurship, and traveling the world with her husband, their dog Tuck, and her Macbook Pro. -- Join Laura on Linkedin & Twitter!
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