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Standardized Tests and Assessments Given in the HCPSS

ACCESS (State/Federal Assessment)

  • January – February

Grades K-12 students identified as English Learners

The assessments measure students’ academic English language in four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing.

ACT (Student Choice)

  • September, October, December, February, April, June, July

The ACT assesses student academic readiness for colleges and universities. It tests knowledge of English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. Writing portion is optional.

AP: Advanced Placement Tests (Student Choice)

View Test Scores

  • May

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.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) (Local Assessment)

  • December

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures student academic abilities and is useful for educators to make course and academic program placements for students.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) (State/Federal Assessment)

  • September – October

Grade: Kindergarten

The KRA is used to determine what a kindergarten student knows and is able to do based on the PreK standards in Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Well-­‐Being and Motor Development, and Social Foundations.

Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) (State/Federal assessment)

  • American Government
    • May-June

    An end-of-course test that measures progress toward Maryland’s High School Core Learning Goals (CLGs) in American Government. High school students enrolled in government must take the assessment at the completion of the course as part of the graduation requirements.

    View Additional HSA Information

  • ELA and Math
    • April-June

    Grades 3-11

    The MCAP assessments measure student achievement on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards in English language arts and math. The MCAP ELA and math assessments have replaced the PARCC assessments for grades 3-8 ELA and math, English 10 and Algebra I. The Maryland State Department of Education will also offer MCAP assessments for Algebra II and Geometry courses.

  • Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)
    • March Grades 5 & 8
    • April-May High School

    Measures student achievement on the Maryland Content Standards in Science in Grade 5 (testing content from Grades 3, 4 and 5), Grade 8 (testing content from Grades 6, 7 and 8) and High School (testing contest in life science). The Grade HS assessment is one of the four tests required in Maryland for graduation.

  • Social Studies
    • May-June

    Grade 8

    Measures student knowledge of United States history from 1763-1890. In addition, the test measures the students ability to evaluate the credibility of sources, identify credible and relevant information in sources, and construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.

    Additional MCAP Information

    Detailed data about Howard County student performance is available at Maryland School Report Cards.

Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program – Alternate Assessments (State/Federal Assessment)

  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) – Science (ALT-MISA)
    • March-May

    Grades 5, 8 and 11

    An assessment designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities who, even with accommodations, are unable to participate in the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment. The Alt-MISA measures a student’s science achievement in Grades 5, 8 and 11.

  • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) – ELA and Mathematics
    • March-May

    Grades 3–8 and 11

    An assessment designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities who, even with accommodations, are unable to participate in the MCAP Assessments. The MSAA measures a student’s achievement in English language arts and mathematics in Grades 3–8 and 11.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) (Local Assessment)

  • October, February, April-June

Grades 1-8

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments are computer adaptive achievement tests 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.

Additional MAP Information

PSAT: Preliminary SAT (Local Assessment)

  • October

Grades 9, 10 and 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 9, 10 and 11.

SAT (Student Choice)

View Test Scores

  • October, November, December, 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.

Universal Screener – State (K-3) Local (4-5)

  • September, January, May

Grades K -5

The screener, Amplify mClass with DIBELS 8th  Edition, is a set of short (one minute) fluency
measures. The results are used as an indicator of a child's reading abilities.  

Additional Screener Information