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Assessments for Graduation

The Maryland High School Assessments (HSAs) are a series of end-of-course exams that test student knowledge of Core Learning Goals (CLGs) established by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Students participate in four required subject area tests:

Due to the transition to the PARCC assessments for Algebra I and English 10, and transition to the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment, each test has varying requirements. Please click the menu items to view each requirement.

Algebra I

Students take the Algebra I PARCC assessment at the end of their Algebra I course. Students in above grade level or GT math sequence will participate in middle school. All other students take the course and assessment in high school.

Pass Requirements:

Enrolled in Algebra I prior to the 2016–17 school year

Assessment Requirement:

  • Receive a Score for Algebra PARCC (participate only)

Enrolled in Algebra I course for the first time during or after the 2016–2017 school year

Assessment Requirement:

  • Pass Algebra I PARCC (Score of 725 for 2016-2017 school year)

Alternate Pathways:

Student’s who are not successful at passing the assessment will have the following options:

  1. Complete an Algebra I Bridge Plan for Academic Validation. The Bridge Plan is a project based option to fulfill the requirement. The following criteria must be met before a Bridge Plan can be used:
    1. Pass the Algebra I course
    2. Fail the Algebra I PARCC twice – Note: students can start on a Bridge Plan after one failure.
  2. Receive a combined score on Algebra I PARCC and English 10 PARCC of greater than or equal to 1450.

Example: Student receives a score of 710 on Algebra I and a 752 on English 10. Combined score is 1462. The student would fulfill the requirement for English 10 and Algebra I.

Algebra I FAQ:

When do students take the test?

In May/June of the year that they take the Algebra I course. Students who miss the test or are retaking due to a failing score, will be tested in December/January.

How long does it take to get results?

Parents can see results for May/June test takers in early August by accessing the HCPSS Connect system (http://www.hcpss.org/connect/ Standardized Test Scores Tab). Paper reports are distributed the second week of school. December/January test takers will get results by the end of March.

Are the assessment results reported to colleges?

No, the assessments are only used as a graduation requirement. The overall test performance is not shared with colleges.

Is the Bridge Plan easier than the PARCC assessment?

No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the PARCC assessment.

How do I get my child started on a Bridge Plan?

Once a student is eligible, a student’s school will be in contact with parents to begin the Bridge Plan process. All work must be completed under the supervision of school staff members.

Are there any substitute assessments for Algebra I PARCC?

Yes, students can use a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the following AP assessments; Calculus AB, Calculus BC or Statistics.

Are there any exemptions to the Algebra I PARCC requirement?

Yes, students who are awarded Algebra I course credit from private school, home schooling or an out of state school are exempt from the Algebra I PARCC requirement.

English 10

Students take the English 10 PARCC assessment at the end of their English 10 course. Typically this class is taken during a students 10th grade year of high school.

Pass Requirements:

Enrolled in English prior to the 2016–17 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Receive a Score for English 10 PARCC (participate only)

Enrolled in English 10 course for the first time during or after the 2016–2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass English 10 PARCC (Score of 725 for 2016-2017 school year)

Alternate Pathways:

Student’s who are not successful at passing the assessment will have the following options:

  1. Receive a combined score on Algebra I PARCC and English 10 PARCC of greater than or equal to 1450. Example: Student receives a score of 710 on English 10 and a 752 on Algebra I. Combined score is 1462. The student would fulfill the requirement for English 10 and Algebra I.
  2. Complete an English 10 Bridge Plan for Academic Validation. The Bridge Plan is a project based option to fulfill the requirement. The following criteria must be met before a Bridge Plan can be used:
    1. Pass the English 10 course
    2. Fail the English 10 PARCC twice – Note: students can start on a Bridge Plan after one failure.

English 10 FAQ

When do students take the test?

In May/June of the year that they take the English 10 course. Students who miss the test or are retaking due to a failing score, will be tested in December/January.

How long does it take to get results?

Parents can see results for May/June test takers in early August by accessing the HCPSS Connect system (http://www.hcpss.org/connect/ Standardized Test Scores Tab). Paper reports are distributed the second week of school. December/January test takers will get results by the end of March.

Are the assessment results reported to colleges?

No, the assessments are only used as a graduation requirement. The overall test performance is not shared with colleges.

Is the Bridge Plan easier than the PARCC assessment?

No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the PARCC assessment.

How do I get my child started on a Bridge Plan?

Once a student is eligible, a student’s school will be in contact with parents to begin the Bridge Plan process. All work must be completed under the supervision of school staff members.

Are there any substitute assessments for Algebra I PARCC?

Yes, students can use a score of 3,4 or 5 on the following AP assessments; English Language or English Literature.

Are there any exemptions to the English 10 PARCC requirement?

Yes, students who are awarded English 10 course credit from private school, home schooling or an out of state school are exempt from the English 10 PARCC requirement.

American Government

Students take the Government High School Assessment (HSA) at the end of their American Government or AP American Government course. Typically this class is taken during a students 10th grade year of high school.

Pass Requirements:

Entered Grade 9 prior to the 2013–2014 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: None

Entered Grade 9 in or after the 2013–2014 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass Government HSA (Score of 396)

Alternate Pathways:

Student’s who are not successful at passing the assessment will have the following options:

  1. Receive a combined score on Government HSA and Biology HSA of greater than or equal to 796. Combined score options with the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment have not yet been developed.
    • Example: Student receives a score of 423 on Biology and a 380 on American Government. Combined score is 803. The student would fulfill the requirement for Government and Biology HSA.
  2. Complete a Government Bridge Plan for Academic Validation. The Bridge Plan is a project based option to fulfill the requirement. The following criteria must be met before a Bridge Plan can be used:
    1. Pass the American Government course
    2. Fail the Government HSA twice – Note: students can start on a Bridge Plan after one failure.

American Government FAQ:

When do students take the test?

In June of the year that they take the American Government course. Students who miss the test or are retaking due to a failing score, will be tested in January.

How long does it take to get results?

Parents can see results for May/June test takers in mid-August by accessing the HCPSS Connect system (http://www.hcpss.org/connect/ Standardized Test Scores Tab). December/January test takers will get results by the end of March.

Are the assessment results reported to colleges?

No, the assessments are only used as a graduation requirement. The overall test performance is not shared with colleges.

Is the Bridge Plan easier than the Government HSA?

No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the Government HSA.

How do I get my child started on a Bridge Plan?

Once a student is eligible, a student’s school will be in contact with parents to begin the Bridge Plan process. All work must be completed under the supervision of school staff members.

Are there any substitute assessments for Government HSA?

Yes, students can use a score of 3,4 or 5 on the U.S. Government and Politics AP assessment.

Are there any exemptions to the Government HSA requirement?

Yes, students who are awarded American Government course credit in private school, home schooling or an out of state school are exempt from the Government HSA requirement.

Science

Students take the a High School Assessment (HSA) in science. Up to the 2016-2017 school year, this assessment was the Biology HSA and was taken at the end of the high school Biology course. During the 2017-2018 school year and beyond, students take the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA). High school students take the MISA after successfully completing high school coursework in all three main science disciplines: earth/space science, life science (biology), and physical science (chemistry and physics). Most students will take the MISA in Grade 11.

Pass Requirements:

Completed Biology course during or prior to the 2016-2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Pass Biology HSA or participate during the 2016-2017 school year

Completed Biology course after the 2016-2017 school year

  • Assessment Requirement: Participation in Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

Alternate Pathways:

Students only have a participation requirement on the MISA assessment. Alternate pathways will be established in 2020, when passing the assessment becomes required.

MISA FAQ:

When do students take the test?

In June of their 11th grade year. Students who miss the test or are retaking due to a failing score, will be tested in January.

Are the assessment results reported to colleges?

No, the assessments are only used as a graduation requirement. The overall test performance is not shared with colleges.

Are there any substitute assessments for Biology HSA?

Yes, students can use a score of 3,4 or 5 on the Biology AP assessment.

Are there any exemptions to the Biology HSA requirement?

Yes, students who are awarded Biology course credit before school year 2017-2018 from private school, home schooling, or an out of state school are exempt from the Biology HSA requirement.