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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2016 MCAS Sample Student Work and Scoring Guides

Below you will find each released short-response question, open-response question, and writing prompt that was included on the spring 2016 MCAS tests; the scoring guide for each question; and a sample of student work at each score point for that question. Student work samples in English Language Arts (ELA) Composition and Reading Comprehension include annotations at all grade levels and score points.

Taken together, the questions, the scoring guides, and the corresponding student work provide a picture of the expectations for student performance on the MCAS tests.

Two different samples of student work have been included at the highest score point for all grades and subjects with the exception of the ELA Composition Standard English Conventions. In addition, two different samples are included at Score Points 1 and 2 for the short-response question for Grade 3 ELA Reading Comprehension.

The document Release of Spring 2016 MCAS Test Items contains all grade 10 ELA and Mathematics test items as well as all high school Biology and Introductory Physics test items on which student results are based. Also included in this document are approximately 50% of this year's common MCAS test items for grades 3-8. High school Chemistry and Technology/Engineering common test items were not released in 2016.

Changes in 2016

  • To support future test development, high school Technology/Engineering items were not released in 2016.
  • The spring 2016 MCAS tests in ELA and Mathematics at grades 3-8 were augmented with a small number of test items developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The PARCC items are not included in the Question Directory for Student Work below, but information about them is located on the Department's MCAS Test Questions Web page.
  • MCAS ELA assessments have traditionally included a Composition test at grades 4, 7, and 10. In 2016, the Department decided to eliminate the ELA Composition test in grades 4 and 7. This decision was based on the fact that all MCAS ELA test forms in grades 3-8 included a PARCC narrative writing task in 2016. The Composition test for grade 10 was administered as usual in March 2016.

For more information see: Using This Online Tool

Question Directory for Student Work

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 10

High School

Main Question Directory for Student Work



Last Updated: October 13, 2016
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