Please be sure that you're accessing the CTP Portal by visiting You may need to update your web browser bookmarks using this address.


What's New 2018-19



What's the Same?

The process to prepare for and administer CTP is not changing.


For the most part, CTP 5 is administered the same way as previous editions. As with any new CTP testing season, you'll want to review the new season's User's Manual and Directions for Administration. Beyond that, you won't need to take any extra measures to prepare to administer CTP 5. The number of test questions in each subtest, the test timing, and the scope and sequence will not change.


What's Changing?

New Questions


The most notable difference between CTP 5 and its predecessors is that CTP 5 contains new test questions with an increased emphasis on assessing critical thinking skills. While previous editions of CTP have always included some questions that challenge a student’s critical thinking skills, the updated questions in CTP 5 subtests focus much more systematically on these skills. CTP 5 will also feature an increased number of high-level Depth of Knowledge (DOK) questions.


Question Standards

Other Changes


Scale Scores

New scale scores will offer more insight into student learning across different levels and will enable individual student growth reporting across a five-year time span.


The norming options you know and love from CTP 4 aren't going anywhere. All the same norms are available for CTP 5. New National Norm data will be gathered from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019, and new National Norms will be part of score reports from Fall 2019 onward. In addition, we've made Association Norms available on more reports.  


CTP 5 will offer all the same reports that CTP 4 did as well as one new report. Reports will still be able to track results over time. Longitudinal data is available back to 2009 for online test users and back to 2012 for paper test users. Schools can download this data from the CTP Portal for any year they tested. 


Our brand new student performance analysis report will display student performance question by question for each subtest and content strand. ​The exisiting Group History Report is getting updated to display up to five years of student performance data. All report headers are getting a "face-lift" to increase readability and ease of interpretation.


The process to order paper test materials, paper reporting packages, and online testing packages will not change. 


CTP 5 will now offer just one reporting package for paper test users and one testing package for online users that includes all available reports—no more deciding between Basic and Value packages. Every CTP 5 user will have access to the same reports!


CTP 5 paper test materials (with the exception of sample tests) will not go up in price. However, CTP 5 will allow paper test users to purchase test materials individually rather than in packages giving users more flexibility when ordering.


View Prices

Calculator Use

Levels 1-8

Calculator use is not permitted on any Levels 1-8 Mathematics subtest. This includes Part 2 of the Levels 5-8 Mathematics subtest on which calculator use was previously permitted. Calculator use was never permitted for Levels 1-3 and this policy remains unchanged. All Levels 1-8 Mathematics items were designed to be answered without the use of a calculator. 


Levels 9 and 10

Calculator use is not permitted on Part 1 of the Levels 9 and 10 Mathematics subtest. All Levels 9 and 10 Mathematics items in Part 1 were designed to be answered without the use of a caluculator. Calculator use is optional on Part 2 of the Levels 9 and 10 Mathematics subtest. 

Paper Test Materials (Paper Users Only)

Paper and pencil CTP users will notice that most paper testing materials have received updated covers. In addition, some out-dated fields were removed from the student demographic bubble-sheet and a new field was added to capture ERB Member Numbers. The Directions for Administration were updated to reflect these changes and guide students as they fill out this page during testing.

Constructed-Response Items (Paper Users Only)

CTP 5 will not offer the optional constructed-response questions for paper test users.

The Fall 2018 Testing Window for CTP 5 is
September 4, 2018 - February 22, 2019




Important Dates

Title Date Description
CTP 5 Pre-Ordering Opens May 1, 2018 CTP 5 pre-ordering opens. CTP 5 paper test materials will ship beginning in August 2018. Order CTP 5 through the CTP Portal.
Last Day to Administer CTP 4 or 4R August 17, 2018 Last day to administer CTP 4 or CTP 4R. After this date, all CTP 4 and 4R paper test materials, including sample tests, must be destroyed.
Last Day to Score CTP 4 or 4R August 31, 2018 Last day to score CTP 4 and CTP 4R tests. CTP Operations must receive all CTP 4 and 4R paper test materials for scoring on or before this date. CTP 4 and 4R tests cannot be scored after this date.
Fall 2018 Testing Opens September 4, 2018 The Fall 2018 CTP testing window opens. Both paper test users and online test users may begin administering CTP 5 on or after this date. The Fall 2018 CTP testing window closes on February 22, 2019.
Fall 2018 Testing Closes February 22, 2019 The Fall 2018 CTP testing window closes. All paper and online tests but be completed on or before this date.
Spring 2019 Testing Opens March 4, 2019 Both spring paper test users and online test users may begin administering CTP 5 on or after this date.
Spring 2019 Testing Closes August 2, 2019 The Spring 2019 CTP testing window closes. All paper and online tests but be completed on or before this date.




Question Standards

We analyzed and classified each CTP 5 question by our own rigorous standards as well as the Webb Depth of Knowledge (DOK) taxonomy in order to include appropriately diverse critical thinking questions throughout the assessment. Where applicable, we also introduced more high-level DOK questions while carefully maintaining CTP’s historic level of difficulty to ensure comparability between CTP 5 and CTP 4 or CTP 4R. The sample questions contained within this document will help illustrate CTP 5’s enhanced focus on critical thinking skills as well as model the cognitive demands these types of questions elicit.

Please note that there are variations in the representation of DOK levels across subtests due to the nature of the subject matter. For instance, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning do not include DOK Level 1 questions as there are no factual recall items in these subtests. Additionally, Writing Mechanics and Vocabulary do not include DOK Level 3 questions because these subtests measure grammar, syntax, and word meaning—areas that do not lend themselves to the higher level of analysis that is characteristic of DOK Level 3.


View Samples



Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Definitions


These definitions are based on information that can be found in a 2002 article by Norman Webb. See Article.


English Language Arts


DOK Level 1

DOK 1 requires students to receive or recite facts or to use simple skills or abilities. Questions require only a shallow understanding of text presented and often consist of verbatim recall from text or simple understanding of a single word or phrase.

DOK Level 2

DOK 2 includes the engagement of some mental processing beyond recalling or reproducing a response; it requires both comprehension and subsequent processing of text or portions of text. Inter-sentence analysis of inference is required. Some important concepts are covered but not in a complex way. Questions at this level may include words such as “summarize,” “interpret,” “infer,” “classify,” “organize,” “collect,” “display,” “compare,” and “determine whether fact or opinion.” Literal main ideas are stressed. A DOK 2 assessment question may require students to apply some of the skills and concepts that are covered in DOK 1. 

DOK Level 3

Deep knowledge becomes more of a focus at DOK 3. Students are encouraged to go beyond the text; however, they are still required to show understanding of the ideas in the text. Students may be encouraged to explain, generalize, or connect ideas. Questions at DOK 3 involve reasoning and planning. Students must be able to support their thinking. Questions may involve abstract theme identification, inference across an entire passage, or students’ application of prior knowledge. Questions may also involve more superficial connections between texts.




DOK Level 2

DOK 2 (Basic Application of Skill/Concept) includes the engagement of some mental processing beyond a habitual response: use of information, conceptual knowledge, selection of appropriate procedures for a task, use of two or more steps with decision points along the way. DOK 2 level tasks may ask a student to “classify,” “organize,” “estimate,” “make observations,” “collect and display data,” and “compare data.” Some representative examples of DOK 2 performance are:


  • Requiring students to make some decisions as to how to approach the problem or activity.
  • Explaining the purpose and use of experimental procedures.
  • Carrying out experimental procedures.
  • Making observations and collecting data.
  • Classifying, organizing, and collecting data.
  • Organizing and displaying data in tables, graphs, and charts.

DOK Level 3

DOK 3 (Strategic Thinking) requires reasoning, planning, using evidence, and possibly developing a plan or sequence of steps to approach problems. These tasks may require some decision-making and justification, and/or abstract, complex, or non-routine chains of reasoning. In most instances, requiring students to explain their thinking is a DOK 3 kind of task. Activities that require students to make conjectures are also at this level. Evaluating, critiquing, or considering other solutions is also a DOK 3 type of task. Some representative examples of DOK 3 performance are:


  • Drawing conclusions from observations.
  • Citing evidence and developing a logical argument for concepts.
  • Explaining phenomena in terms of concepts.
  • Using concepts to solve problems.
  • Interpreting information from a complex graph that requires some decisions on what features of the graph need to be considered and how information from the graph can be aggregated.