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Assessments for Graduation

The Maryland Graduation Assessments 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:

Each test has varying pass requirements. Please click the menu items to view each requirement.

Algebra I

Students take the Algebra I 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/MCAP

    • 2017-2018 first time test takers
      • 6th Grade 2017-2018 = Score of 750 (Level 4 or 5)
      • 7th Grade and above 2017-2018 = Score of 725 (Level 3, 4, or 5)
    • 2018-2019 first time test takers
      • 6th and 7th Grades 2018-2019 = Score of 750 (Level 4 or 5)
      • 8th Grade and above 2018-2019 = Score of 725 (Level 3, 4, or 5)
    • 2019-2020 first time test takers
      • 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades 2019-2020 = Score of 750 (Level 4 or 5)
      • 9th Grade and above 2019-2020 = Score of 725 (Level 3, 4, or 5)
    • 2020-2021 first time test takers
      • Score of 750 (Level 4 or 5)

      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 and English 10 of greater than or equal to 1450 for students with a 9th grade entry year before 2020-2021 and 1500 for 9th grade entry year in or after 2020-2021.Complete an Algebra I Bridge Plan for Academic Validation.

        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 for students with a 9th grade entry year before 2020-2021.

      2. 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.

      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 following September.

      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 Algebra I assessment?

      No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the Algebra 1 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 assessment?

      Yes, students can use a score of 750 or above on the Algebra II assessment or a 3, 4 or 5 on the following AP assessments; Calculus AB, Calculus BC or Statistics.

      Are there any exemptions to the Algebra I 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 requirement.

      English 10

      Students take the English 10 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 and/or entered into 9th grade prior to the 2020-2021 school year

      • Assessment Requirement: Pass English 10 assessment (Score of 725)

      Entered Grade 9 in or after the 2020–2021 school year

      • Assessment Requirement: Pass English 10 assessment (Score of 750)

      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 and English 10 of greater than or equal to 1450 for students with a 9th grade entry year before 2020-2021 and 1500 for 9th grade entry year in or after the 2020-2021.

        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 for students with a 9th grade entry year before 2020-2021.

      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 assessment 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 following September.

      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 English 10 assessment?

      No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the English 10 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 English 10 assessment?

      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 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 assessment 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 in or after the 2013–2014 school year

      • Assessment Requirement: Pass Government HSA (Score of 394)

      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 Assessments.
      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 assessment 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). January test takers will get results by the end of April.

      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 assessment?

      No, they are lengthy projects that cover the same standards that are measured by the Government 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 Government assessment?

      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 assessment 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 assessment requirement.

      Science

      Up to the 2016-2017 school year, the 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)

      Completed high school coursework in two main science disciplines and be enrolled in the third science discipline during the 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 school years

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

      Completed high school coursework in two main science disciplines and be enrolled in the third science discipline in or after the 2021-2022 school year

      • Assessment Requirement: Pass Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

      Alternate Pathways:

      Students have a participation requirement on the MISA assessment through the 2020-2021 school year. Alternate pathways will be established in 2021-2022 school year, when passing the assessment becomes required.

      MISA FAQ:

      When do students take the test?

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

      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 Science assessment 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. In addition, students who are awarded two science credits from private school, home schooling, or an out of state school in or after the 2017-2018 school year are exempt from the Science assessment requirement.