Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) is a standardized test administered by the state of Arizona. AIMS is a standards based assessment aligned to the Arizona Academic Content Standards. All Arizona public school students in grades 3 through 8 and 10 are required to take the AIMS test. The AIMS test includes four content areas: writing, reading, mathematics, and science. The reading and mathematics content areas are administered in all grades. The writing content area is administered in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10. The science content area is administered in grades 4, 8, and 10.
High School Graduation
To graduate from an Arizona public high school, a student must meet the AIMS High School Graduation Requirement. The most common way to meet this requirement is to pass the writing, reading, and mathematics content areas of the AIMS HS test. High school students have multiple opportunities to take and pass these content areas. For students who do not pass all three required content areas of the AIMS HS test, there are alternative methods for meeting the AIMS High School Graduation requirement.
Additionally, starting with the class of 2006, high-school students in Arizona who exceed all three standards in reading, writing, and math may be eligible for a scholarship to any of the three public state universities if they also meet certain criteria. Students must complete all 16 core competency courses (4 units English, 4 units Math, 3 units Lab Science, 2 units Social Science, 2 units Foreign Language, and 1 unit Fine Arts) by graduation with a B or better in each course. Students must also meet at least one of the following academic requirements: Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher on an unweighted 4.0 scale, or rank in the top 5% of their graduating class.
If a student does not exceed standards on all three tests, they may still qualify for a scholarship if they exceed standards on two of the AIMS sections and meet standards on the other section. Additionally, they would either need to receive at least a score of 3 on two Advanced Placement tests or at least a score of 4 on two International Baccalaureate exams.
Qualified students will receive a full state university tuition waiver valid for one year following graduation from high school. The scholarship is renewable for four years based upon university-determined criteria. The actual dollar amount of the scholarship will vary based upon the tuition charged by the state university in which they have enrolled.
However, on September 23, 2010, the Arizona Board of Regents voted 9-1 to cut AIMS scholarships to just 25% of freshman year tuition, stating that the scholarship was too easy to earn. Students will also have to have an ACT score of at least 28 or an SAT-1 score of at least 1300 (i.e. the reading and mathematics scores must be at least 1300). The changes in AIMS scholarships will apply beginning with the graduating class of 2013.