Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Using the 2021 MCAS Sample Student Work and Scoring Guides Online Tool

Structure

Each page of this online tool provides access to student work samples and scoring guides for one grade level and one content area (e.g., Grade 5 Mathematics). For each released constructed-response item or essay question, all student work samples and scoring guide(s) are presented in a single PDF document. The PDFs may be viewed online, printed, or downloaded.

The sample responses provided here are selections of actual student work from the spring 2021 MCAS administration. To protect the privacy of individual students, all names and references of a personal nature have been altered or removed. Otherwise, the responses appear as the students wrote them.

How to Access Student Work in the Online Tool

  • In the Question Directory for Student Work, locate the grade and subject of the MCAS student work you wish to access.
  • Click on the link for the appropriate subject (for example, Grade 5 Mathematics). This will take you to a question or questions for which student work samples are available.
  • Select the question for which you wish to see student work. This will launch a PDF file containing the scoring guide(s) and all student work samples for that question.
  • In the PDF, locate the Scoring Guide grid. Links to student work samples with the highest score points appear at the top of the "Score" column of the grid; score points linked to the lower-scoring student work follow in descending order. For English Language Arts (ELA) essay questions, there are two scoring guides, one for Idea Development, and the other for Standard English Conventions.
  • Click on the score-point link for any student work sample you wish to view. To return to the Scoring Guide after viewing a sample, click on the Back to Scoring Guide(s) link located just below the sample.
  • In the "Description" column of the Scoring Guide grid, you will find the scoring criteria for each score point.
  • For ELA questions, each student work sample is accompanied by annotations explaining in detail how that particular response was scored.

Scoring of Test Questions

An overview of procedures used for scoring student responses and compositions is presented in the MCAS fact sheet, "Scoring Student Answers …."

Printing the Scoring Guides and Samples

The PDFs containing scoring guides and student work samples can be printed by accessing the print menu in your PDF viewer or browser. One way to access the print menu is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-p on a PC or Command-p on a Mac.

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

 
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