Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: April 11, 2017

Contact Information

MCAS Service Center
Phone: 800-737-5103
for logistical support, including technology support and questions about PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625
for policy questions, including questions about student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

MCAS ELA Testing Window for Grades 3-8

As a reminder, the spring 2017 MCAS ELA testing window for grades 3-8 computer- and paper-based testing ends on May 3. Schools with a special circumstance should email with an exception request.

"Office Hours" WebEx Sessions

Department staff led a WebEx session on Monday, April 10, to provide information on tasks during administration for computer-based testing in grades 3-8. The recording of the WebEx is available. The next office hours session will be held on April 28 (registration is open for this session).

Supplements to Appendix D of the Principal's Administration Manual Available

Supplements to Appendix D for both the high school and grades 3-8 Principal's Administration Manuals will be available early this week on the Department's website. High schools should update student data in PearsonAccess Next for the following situations:
  • students added to or removed from your school's enrollment
  • accommodations that were wrong in the initial SR/PNP or have been added to or removed from students' IEPs or 504 plans
  • accommodations that a student refused during testing

New FAQs Added

New questions on paper-based testing are listed below. Other questions, including logistics for make-up testing, have also been added to the Computer-Based Test Administration FAQs posted to the Department's website.
Q: What should schools do if a student uses a highlighter in his or her answer booklet?
A: Light yellow highlighter marks will not cause problems in scanning or scoring. Contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 if a color other than yellow was used.

Q: What should schools do if a student's test or answer booklet rips?
A: Contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 for instructions.

Q: If a student becomes sick during a test session and is unable to complete the session, should he or she be scheduled for a make-up session?
A: Yes. Students who become ill mid-session should be scheduled for a closely monitored make-up session to complete only the questions they have not yet answered. Call the Department at 781-338-3625 in situations where there are special circumstances.

Important Dates

  • April 25: Results of the March Retest available electronically in DropBox Central
  • April 28: February Biology and March retest results available in Edwin Analytics
  • May 3: Last day for spring 2017 MCAS English Language Arts tests (grades 3-8)
  • May 15: Parent/Guardian Reports for the February Biology test and March Retest delivered to districts via UPS
  • May 26: Last day for spring 2017 MCAS Mathematics tests (grades 3-8)
  • May 26: Last day for spring 2017 MCAS Science and Tech/Eng tests (grades 5 and 8)

Additional Resources

View External Link
Equation Editor Symbol Key
View External Link
Guide to Conducting a CBT Session
View HTML Page
Commissioner's March 6, 2017, Message on MCAS Participation
View External Link
MCAS Resource Center (Practice Tests, Tutorials, and more)


Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors automatically receive this Student Assessment Update based on contact information submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member who serves in one of these roles, 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: go online to the EOE Information Technology web page (select "District/School Information Update" as the subject) to submit your update (be sure to include your District and School Code).
For others who wish to subscribe, email with the following information in the body of the email: "subscribe SASUpdate Your_Name" (Example: subscribe SASUpdate John_Smith). To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: "unsubscribe SASUpdate." We welcome your questions and feedback at Thank you.

Last Updated: April 21, 2017

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.