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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

English Language Arts

Test Design

Test Blueprints by Grade

Below are the test blueprints for the spring 2016 MCAS English Language Arts tests. Per the determination of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the MCAS tests in grades 3–8 English Language Arts and Mathematics will be augmented with a limited number of PARCC items for spring 2016. This will help make statewide comparisons easier and will offer students the opportunity to experience PARCC items while assessments for 2017 and beyond are being developed. Please note that the test design for grade 10 has not changed.

 MCASPARCC Narrative Writing Task
 Reading ComprehensionReading ComprehensionWriting 
GradeNumber of Multiple-Choice Items
(1 point per item)
Number of Open-Response (OR) Items
(4 points per OR item, grades 3–10)
Total MCAS Common PointsNumber of Evidence Based Selected Responses (EBSR) Items
(2 points per EBSR)
Number of Narrative Writing Responses
(written expression and conventions)**
Total PARCC Points
3364 SR* and 1 OR484120
4364 OR524120
5364 OR524120
6364 OR524123
7364 OR524123
8364 OR524123
* MCAS Short-Response (SR) items are used in grade 3 only and are worth up to 2 points per item. ** The PARCC Narrative Writing Response will be scored using the current PARCC rubrics. The response will be scored in two domains: written expression and conventions.
  • For grades 3-5, students can receive up to 9 points for written expression and 3 points for conventions.
  • For grades 6-8, students can receive up to 12 points for written expression and 3 points for conventions.


MCAS
 Reading ComprehensionComposition 
GradeNumber of Multiple-Choice Items
(1 point per item)
Number of Open-Response (OR) Items
(4 points per OR item, grades 3–10)
Number of Writing Prompts
(2–20 points per composition)
Total Common Points Available per Form
10364172


MCAS English Language Arts Reporting Categories
GradeReporting CategoryPercentage (+/- 5%)Total Number of Points
3Language15%7
Reading85%41
4Language12%6
Reading88%46
5Language12%6
Reading88%46
6Language12%6
Reading88%46
7Language12%6
Reading88%46
8Language12%6
Reading88%46
10Language8%6
Reading64%46
Composition28%20


Last Updated: February 19, 2016
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