MCAS 2.0 Testing Coming to Oakmont 2019

Mara D'Attilio

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The updated version of the MCAS includes some key changes, with the hopes that it will better measure critical thinking skills, as well as college and career readiness. According to the changes, pencils and bubble sheets will soon be a thing of the past. The new test will be entirely online this spring. The MCAS test itself has been a test that has been in existence for 20 years and has undergone some subtle upgrades, but these new revisions deserve focus attention from students and teachers. Grade 10 students (Class of 2021) this year are the first to take the next-generation grade 10 ELA and math tests. The standards for this test will rate the students as either Exceeding, Meeting, Partially Meeting, and Not Meeting Expectations and will be set on these tests in the summer of 2019.


According to the DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)  website, it is important to ensure fairness during the transition period for the students in each graduating class and to provide adequate notice of the requirements for high school graduation. There will no longer be paper based testing options, unless it is a requirement as outlined specifically for an individual student as a part of their individualized education plan (IEP).


For those familiar with taking the MCAS, the test will remain untimed (students have until the end of the school day at most) and some question types will remain the same. The major differences will be the types of questions, the amount of questions, that the format is all computer based with tool use options, and that the multiple choice question selection will be decreasing in number while the open response format will be increasing in number.

According to the DESE website, students will have to be able to write in three different styles: argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative which all link to the Common Core Standards. One rubric will be used for all three writing styles. The rubric scores your idea development as well as the use of the overall proper writing conventions. According to the DESE website, in general, the new standards for Meeting Expectations are more rigorous than the standards for reaching the Proficient level on the legacy MCAS (older ve

rsions). The results do NOT mean that students learned less; the next-generation MCAS measures in a different way.