MCAS Testing Requirements and Timeline
All students must pass Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science to receive a diploma from a Massachusetts public high school. WRHS students take the ELA and Mathematics MCAS tests in spring of the 10th grade. WRHS students take a science MCAS test in June of the 9th grade. Most WRHS freshmen will take the Physics MCAS test; others will take either Technology/Engineering or Biology, depending on the science class they take.
2018-2019 MCAS Tests
Beginning in spring 2019, Massachusetts high school students will transition to next-generation, computer-based MCAS tests in ELA and Mathematics. The new tests, which students will take on their Chromebooks, will contain updated test designs and new item types and essays. The ELA test will be given in two sessions, not three. There will be no ELA long composition; instead, students will write four essays in response to readings.
The first MCAS tests of the WRHS 2018-2019 school year are the November MCAS ELA and Mathematics retests. These tests are designed for juniors and seniors who have not yet passed an MCAS ELA and/or Mathematics test. The ELA test is scheduled for Nov. 8, 9, and 13; the Math test is scheduled for Nov. 14 and 15. Each ELA session is designed to last 45 minutes; each Math session is designed to last 60 minutes. Students will get more time if they need it.
The complete MCAS Testing Schedule
lists all Massachusetts standardized tests for the 2018-2019 school year.
Students who do not pass an MCAS test, who miss a regularly scheduled MCAS test, or who transfer to WRHS without having passed the required high school MCAS tests, must take an ELA or Mathematics retest. ELA and Mathematics retests are given in late fall and early spring. There are no retests in science; students must pass a regularly scheduled MCAS science test in February or June.
Preparing for the MCAS tests and retests: Students wishing to prepare for MCAS tests should use the links below to access released MCAS tests and model student responses. These tests, which contain answer keys, will give students a good sense of the types of questions and the type of material to be found on each subject area MCAS test.
MCAS Math Help Videos: Typical MCAS Math problems are reviewed in this series of MCAS videos created by WRHS department head Chris Brewer. Students should review these short videos for help with basic mathematical concepts.
* The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not released any items from the high school MCAS Technology/Engineering test after 2015.
** The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not released any items from the high school MCAS Chemistry test after 2013.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MCAS website offers more information about the state's testing requirements and has resources to help students prepare. Among these resources are MCAS tests from previous years.
Pre-Approved Graphic Organizers: The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved several graphic organizers for special education students who receive accommodation 20 on MCAS tests. Those organizers are listed below. For more information on who may use these organizers, visit the Massachusetts DESE website.
Educational Proficiency Plans
Federal law requires that all students display proficiency in math and English. On the MCAS tests, students show proficiency with a score of 240 or above. For students who score between 220 and 238 (in the Needs Improvement category) on the MCAS, the school will develop an Educational Proficiency Plan.
Students on an EPP must complete certain requirements in order to display proficiency. First, students may show proficiency by attaining a score of 240 or above on EPP assessments given in the spring. Students who do not "test off" their EPP must fulfill the requirements outlined on their EPP. Acceptable EPP assessments are the ELA MCAS retest in March and a Math EPP assessment administered in late April to early May.
The EPP in both math and English will contain three things: a listing of the student's strengths and weaknesses as shown on the MCAS test; a list of the courses the student will take during his remaining time at WRHS; and a list of the common assessments he will take.
The student will have shown proficiency by successfully completing the required coursework and the common assessments as outlined on his EPP.
More information on EPPs can be found at the Massachusetts DESE Educational Proficiency Plans page.