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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: May 11, 2015

Returning MCAS Test Materials for Grades 5 and 8

As a reminder, grades 5 and 8 MCAS Mathematics and STE now have separate answer booklets for each subject area. However, booklets can be placed together by grade when packing (e.g., grade 5 Mathematics and STE used answer booklets can be placed together in the same Return Envelope). See the MCAS Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document  Download TXT Document (page 68) for detailed packing instructions.

Important Reminder: Transcribing PARCC Tests

Please remember to transcribe the responses of students taking PARCC accommodated test forms (large print, Braille), as well as those with the typed response, text-to-speech, and word prediction accommodations, into the student's standard test booklet, or onscreen for students taking the computer-based PARCC tests.

ACCESS for ELLs Report Interpretation Workshops

The Department will conduct two half-day workshops on June 4 (Marlborough) and June 5 (Taunton) from 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Presenters will share information on accessing student data online, interpreting ACCESS for ELLs reports, and using ACCESS for ELLs scores. Workshops are limited to 250 participants, with 2 participants per district. Registration will open on May 18 via a survey link that will be emailed separately. These sessions are intended for district ELL program coordinators, principals, test coordinators, and/or district data analysts.

Note: Guidance on Testing for Transfer Students

Please be aware that a new document, Guidance on Testing for Transfer Students, will be posted to the ESE website containing information on how to handle transfer students for both MCAS and PARCC. This document will be found on the Test Administration Resources pages for MCAS and PARCC under Additional Policies/Resources.

PARCC End-of-Year Student (CBT Only) and Test Administrator Surveys

The computer-based EOY assessment is followed by an optional student survey, not an additional unit. Test administrator scripts reference the unit(s) and provide a reminder for the survey.

  • Students in grades 3–5 have one ELA/Literacy unit and a survey.
  • Students in grades 6–11 have two ELA/Literacy units and a survey.
  • All students will have two mathematics units and a survey.

Please note that the 23 survey items appear in the student progress screen as unit 3. Student survey questions can be found on Avocet, for both ELA/L and Mathematics. There is no student survey for paper-based testing.

Test administrators for both CBT and PBT are asked to complete a survey at the conclusion of the EOY administration.


PARCC is seeking classes in elementary and middle schools for a small-scale tryout of English Language Arts/Literacy tasks for the PBA component. The tryouts will be computer based, and each task will last approximately 60–90 minutes, depending on the grade level.

Schools may administer this tryout anytime between May 11 and June 12, 2015. If you are interested in participating, please complete this survey. For more information, please contact

Additional Resources

Important Upcoming Dates


  • May 4–26: Mathematics test sessions for grades 3–8
  • May 5–26: Science and Technology/Engineering test sessions for grades 5 and 8
  • May 12 and 13: Mathematics test sessions for grade 10 for schools on the regular schedule
  • May 19 and 20: Mathematics test sessions for grade 10 for schools on the alternate schedule

PARCC End-of-Year (EOY) Assessment

  • May 4–June 5: Administration window for the computer-based EOY test
  • May 11–May 29: Administration window for the paper-based EOY test

Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, PARCC test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors receive this update based on contact information submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools, collaboratives, approved private special education schools: submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator.
  • Test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: submit an email address (along with your District and School Code) to

In addition to this Update, PARCC districts may find the biweekly PARCC bulletins to be useful.

We welcome your feedback at and

Last Updated: May 11, 2015
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