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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Testing Mode Decisions for the Spring 2017 MCAS Grades 3-8 MCAS ELA and Mathematics Tests


The transition plan for statewide computer-based testing includes the following details for spring 2017:
  • Schools are expected to administer grades 4 and 8 computer-based MCAS ELA and Mathematics tests (with exceptions for students who have been determined to require a paper-and-pencil version of the assessment). For the small number of schools or grades unable to meet this expectation, districts submitted a waiver request.
  • For grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, districts chose to have their schools do either the computer-based or the paper-based tests. The decision to do CBT or PBT was made by school, grade, and subject area (e.g., paper-based testing for ELA and computer-based testing for Mathematics for school A for grade 6). Districts that administered PARCC computer-based tests in spring 2016 were strongly encouraged to implement computer-based testing at those same schools again in 2017. The more opportunities that students have to become familiar with the electronic format and the associated tools, the better prepared they will be in terms of digital literacy, as well as for future computer-based assessments.
  • The grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests, as well as all Science and Technology/Engineering tests (grades 5, 8 and high school), remain paper-based only for spring 2017.


  • Schools administering computer-based tests only: 40% (565 schools)
  • Schools administering paper-based tests in at least one grade/subject: 60% (840 schools)
  • The summary statistics above are based on 1,405 public schools serving students in grades 3–8, such as elementary schools, middle schools, and combined elementary/middle schools.
 Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8
Schools doing CBT 38%93%38%41%42%95%
Schools doing PBT62%7%62%59%58%5%
Total number of schools973961894589505500

District and School Testing Mode Decisions

Last Updated: January 27, 2017

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