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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Release of 2016–2017 Testing Schedule and Test Administration Deadlines

We are writing to inform you of test administration deadlines and updates to the testing schedule  Download MS WORD Document, in follow-up to the release of the 2016-2017 testing schedule in May.

Districts and schools should align calendars with this schedule, and are reminded that state and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodations for the needs of students and employees who observe religious holidays.

The following are highlights of the updates to the grades 3–8 portion of the schedule:

  • In order to provide timely reports of grades 3–8 ELA test results, there is an earlier test completion deadline and UPS pickup deadline than was previously announced for this subject area test.

  • The schedule for the grades 3–8 ELA and Mathematics tests includes the separate tasks to be completed before and after testing for both computer-based testing and paper-based testing.

  • Recommended testing times are included (see page 6 of the testing schedule). Grades 3–8 test sessions will remain untimed in 2017, but note that the recommended testing times for ELA and Mathematics are changing. Schools that administered PARCC in 2016 will note that the 2017 MCAS recommended testing times are shorter than the 2016 PARCC testing times. However, the 2017 MCAS recommended testing times are longer than the 2016 MCAS testing times for these grades and subjects. Longer recommended testing times are needed to assess the standards in more depth. The next-generation tests will include more diverse question types for Mathematics as well as questions worth more points. For ELA, writing in response to text will be assessed at all grades (for grades 3–8) instead of having a separate composition at grades 4 and 7.

  • Since ELA and Mathematics test sessions will be longer than prior years', schools may plan for one short, supervised break per session (3–5 minutes) to be given at each test administrator's discretion.

  • For computer-based testing, test sessions must be administered as close together as possible to all students taking that test in the same school (with the exception of make-up sessions). Schools are expected to schedule most students for the first administration of a session; if space or device constraints require additional sessions, they should be scheduled as close together as possible in order to maintain the security of the tests. There is no change to the policy on concurrent timing for paper-based testing.

Please contact the Office of Student Assessment Services at mcas@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3625 with questions about the schedule.

Thank you.



Last Updated: September 2, 2016
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