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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: October 21, 2013

Ordering Materials for the February Biology Test

High school principals should order February 2014 MCAS Biology test materials between October 28 and November 1, by completing an order form posted at All high school principals must complete an order form even if no students will participate. A memo with ordering instructions will be posted at on October 28. As a reminder, superintendents must ensure that private special education schools and educational collaboratives order materials for students in out-of-district placements. Please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 with any questions about ordering materials. For policy-related questions, please contact the Student Assessment Unit at

2013 MCAS Student Work and Scoring Guides Now Posted

Released short-response questions, open-response questions, and writing prompts from the spring 2013 MCAS tests have been posted at Also posted are a scoring guide for each question and a sample of student work at each score point for that question.

The released test items include all grade 10 ELA and Mathematics test items, as well as all high school Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering test items on which student results are based. Approximately 50% of the common items for grades 3-8 are released.

November Retest and Adams Scholarship

High school principals and MCAS test coordinators should remember that scores from the November retest will not be considered for scholarship purposes. Students in grade 11 who are new to Massachusetts schools or had a medically excused absence in grade 10 should be advised to take the spring test (or the November retest and the spring test) if they wish to try to meet the eligibility requirements for either the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship or the Koplik Certificate of Mastery Award. Taking only the November retest may result in a costly mistake for high achieving students and their families. Please call 781-338-3625 if you have questions.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • November 6-8: MCAS ELA Retest
  • November 12 and 13: MCAS Mathematics Retest
  • November 15: Last day for make-up testing

About this Update

The Student Assessment Services Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. Please email your feedback to

Principals, heads of school, MCAS test coordinators, and ELL directors received this email based on contact information that was submitted to the Department. To change your email address, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public schools: Submit updates to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting updates to the Department. A listing of Directory Administrators is posted at
  • Non-public schools and collaboratives: Submit updates (along with your District & School Code) to the Department via email at

Last Updated: October 24, 2013
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