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Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP)

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) provides information to educators, parents and the public on student progress towards proficiency on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. Through a strong assessment system, stakeholders gain an understanding of how schools are performing and where assistance can be directed to support student growth and achievement.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that states administer the following annual statewide assessments:

  • English Language Arts/Literacy – Grades 3-8 and 10
  • Math – Grades 3-8, Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry (MS only)
  • Science – Grades 5, 8 and HS students enrolled in Biology course

Maryland law requires the following annual statewide assessments:

  • Social Studies/Government – Grade 8 and HS students enrolled in US Government

Student Results

Students who participate in the MCAP assessments typically receive paper home reports during September of the following school year. The reports will be distributed to your child at school to hand carry home.

Digital Access to Test Results

Parents and guardians don’t have to wait for the paper home reports. Digital access to MCAP and other standardized test scores is available online. To view a running record of your child’s raw standardized assessment scores:

MCAP results are typically loaded in the first week of August.

Administration of MCAP

MCAP assessments are designed for online administration and are given in 40-70 minute sections. Students take four sections per content area with a total testing time of 3-5 hours for a subject.

The test is designed to allow students to use the same computer-based tools that are used during instruction. Students with special needs will receive the same accommodations for the MCAP that they do for their regular instruction.

Student Participation Requirement

The MCAP assessments are part of the state instructional program and students are required to participate.
MSDE provides the following formal guidance on opting out of instructional and assessment programs:
State law requires that all children attend public school, a nonpublic school, or be educated at home. For students who attend public school, state regulations permit parents to have their children opt out of only a few specific aspects of the public school curriculum. See COMAR 13A.04.18.01F(5)(a) and I(2)(a) (“Family Life and Human Sexuality” and “HIV/AIDS Instruction.”).

Students who refuse to participate in state mandated testing will negatively impact federal accountability ratings for their home school and district. In addition, Algebra I, English 10, HS LS MISA, and HS Government students who refuse to participate in MCAP will not fulfill the MSDE graduation requirements.


  • Maryland State Department of Education Assessment Overview
  • MCAP Results
  • English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies 8 and MISA 5/8 Practice Tests
  • High School Life Science MISA and High School American Government Practice Tests