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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

High School Science and Technology/Engineering Tests

Q. What are the Competency Determination (CD) requirements for students in the class of 2010 and subsequent classes?

A.Students must either earn a scaled score of at least 240 on the grade 10 MCAS ELA and Mathematics tests, or earn a scaled score between 220 and 238 on these tests and fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP).

Students must also earn a scaled score of at least 220 on one of the four high school MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests: Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology/Engineering.

Q. Which tests are offered for high school Science and Technology/Engineering?
A. Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering are offered in June. A separate Biology administration is offered in February.

Q. Are students who are held back a grade and become part of the class of 2010 or beyond required to meet the CD requirement in STE?
A. Yes. Students are required to meet the CD requirement in STE if they graduate in 2010 or beyond. Note that there is an exception for students who were originally in the class of 2009 or an earlier class and meet certain criteria.

Q. At which grades may a student participate in the high school STE tests?
A. Grade 10 students who have not yet met the CD requirement in STE are required to participate in spring 2011. Grade 9 students who are enrolled in an STE course are eligible to participate, as are students in grades 11 and 12 who have not met the STE requirement for earning their CD.

For students who are eligible and choose not to participate, the Department recommends that schools have parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement of their child's non-participation. A sample non-participation form and letter (and translations) are posted at MCAS Sample Letters and Forms page.

Q. What additional testing opportunities are available for students who previously failed a high school MCAS STE test?
A. Students may participate in one of the four STE tests (Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering) in June in the same subject area in which they first tested. (For example, grade 10 students who failed the Biology test they took in grade 9 may participate in the Biology test the following year, regardless of the STE course in which they are currently enrolled.) Alternatively, students who previously failed an STE test may take one of the other three STE tests that corresponds to the course in which they are enrolled.

Q. If a student participated in the February MCAS Biology test and did not meet the STE requirement for earning his or her CD, may he or she participate in an STE test in June?
A. Yes. A student may participate in any of the four June high school STE tests, based on the participation requirements stated in the answer above.

Q. May a student participate in a spring STE test if he or she has already earned his or her CD in STE?
A. No. A student is not eligible to participate in an STE test in spring 2011 if he or she has already met CD requirement for STE. Results will be invalidated for students who are not eligible to participate.

Q. What is the concurrent administration requirement for high school STE tests?
A. All tests must be administered concurrently within a school (e.g., all students participating in the Biology test must take session 1 at the same time in a school).

Q. May a high school administer different subject area high school STE tests in the same room (e.g., Biology and Chemistry)?
A. Yes. However, test administrators should pay close attention when monitoring students and when reading the scripts, since there are different materials for each subject area test.

Q. Are high school students who are enrolled in a physical science course eligible to take the Introductory Physics test?
A. High school students are eligible to take the Introductory Physics test if they have taken a course based on the High School Introductory Physics standards in the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework. If a school offers a physical science course that corresponds to the standards, the students should be offered the test.

Q. May students in grade 9 take the February Biology test and have their results count toward the state STE graduation requirement?
A. Yes. Students in grade 9 may participate in the February Biology test in an attempt to fulfill the STE requirement for the CD, provided they have completed or are expected to complete a high school biology course by the time of testing and have not yet met the CD requirement in STE (if repeating grade 9).

Q. May a student participate in an STE test in more than one subject during the June administration?
A. No.

Q. Is there an opportunity to submit an MCAS-Alt portfolio binder in February for Biology?
A. No. MCAS-Alt portfolios are submitted in the spring only. If a portfolio is completed earlier, it should be securely stored until spring.

Science and Technology/Engineering MCAS Memos

06/11/20102010 Competency Determination (CD) Update-Individuals Who Were Originally Members of the Class of 2009 or an Earlier Class
08/31/2009Reminder about the New Competency Determination Requirement Beginning with the Class of 2010
06/05/2009Science and Technology/Engineering Competency Determination Requirements for Junior and Senior Transfer Students


Last Updated: November 5, 2010
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