Standardized Tests and Assessments Given in the HCPSS
Maryland High School Assessments (HSA)
January, May, and Summer
Middle and high school students upon completion of high school Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology and English 10 courses
A series of end-of-course tests that measure progress toward Maryland’s High School Core Learning Goals (CLGs) in Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology and English. The Mod-HSA tests are alternates to the tests in the HSA program and are designed for students who meet specific eligibility criteria. Both the HSA and Mod-HSA meet the testing requirements for high school graduation as well as the high school testing requirements for English/ Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
PSAT/NMSQT: Preliminary Sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
Grades 10 & 11
Published by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Provides a practice opportunity for the SAT. Juniors who participate in the PSAT/NMSQT may be eligible for college scholarships. HCPSS contracts with the College Board to test all students in grades 10 and 11.
Measures student achievement on the Maryland Content Standards in Reading and Mathematics. The test meets the federal testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB).
State Assessment in Science
Grades 5 & 8
Measures student achievement on the Maryland Content Standards in Science in grade 5 (testing content from grades 4 and 5) and grade 8 (testing content from grades 6, 7 and 8). The test meets the federal testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC)
April to June
The PARCC consortium is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. Maryland is part of the consortium and has replaced the grade 3-8 Math and Reading Maryland State Assessments (MSA) with the corresponding Math and English Language Arts PARCC assessments. English 10 and Algebra I students will participate in PARCC as a replacement for the Algebra I and English 10 HSAs. The Maryland State Department of Education will also offer PARCC assessments for Algebra II and English 11 courses. Algebra II is also given as an end of course assessment.
Online: Grades 1-8
September, October, December, January, May, June
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments are computer adaptive achievement test in Mathematics and Reading. As a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down the difficulty of the questions presented to the student.
National Center for State Collaboration (NCSC)
Grades 3-8, & 11
March – May
A multi‐state comprehensive assessment system for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English state-to-state for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Assesses the English Language Proficiency of English Language Learners. The test assesses a student’s proficiency in 5 areas: General Language, Language of Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and English Language Arts.
Paper: November – December
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures student academic abilities and is useful for educators to make course and academic program placements for students.
Grade 12 only
April – May
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provides data on and looks at trends in mathematics and science student achievement in the U.S. This data is used to compare and contrast achievement data from other countries.
Grade 11 – English Students
September – October
Measures students’ knowledge in math, reading and writing to determine strengths and specific needs in a subject area.
Alternative Maryland School Assessment Science (Alt-MSA Science)
Grades 5, 8 and 10
An assessment designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in the State Assessment even when accommodations are provided. The Alternative State Assessment measures a student’s progress on attainment of Mastery Objectives for Science grades 5, 8 and 10.
AP: Advanced Placement Tests
Grades 9-12 students enrolled in AP courses
College level courses/exams administered to students in the AP courses to earn advanced standing or credit at most high schools and universities.
October, November, December, January, March, May, June
Grades 11, 12
The SAT assesses student academic readiness for college and is used for admission by colleges and universities. It tests knowledge of Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
September, October, December, February, April, June
The ACT assesses student academic readiness for colleges and universities. It tests knowledge of English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. Writing portion is optional.
Detailed data about Howard County student performance is available at mdeportcard.org