Mcas Sample Essay Questions

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2016 MCAS Sample Student Work and Scoring Guides

Below you will find each released short-response question, open-response question, and writing prompt that was included on the spring 2016 MCAS tests; the scoring guide for each question; and a sample of student work at each score point for that question. Student work samples in English Language Arts (ELA) Composition and Reading Comprehension include annotations at all grade levels and score points.

Taken together, the questions, the scoring guides, and the corresponding student work provide a picture of the expectations for student performance on the MCAS tests.

Two different samples of student work have been included at the highest score point for all grades and subjects with the exception of the ELA Composition Standard English Conventions. In addition, two different samples are included at Score Points 1 and 2 for the short-response question for Grade 3 ELA Reading Comprehension.

The document Release of Spring 2016 MCAS Test Items contains all grade 10 ELA and Mathematics test items as well as all high school Biology and Introductory Physics test items on which student results are based. Also included in this document are approximately 50% of this year's common MCAS test items for grades 3-8. High school Chemistry and Technology/Engineering common test items were not released in 2016.

Changes in 2016

  • To support future test development, high school Technology/Engineering items were not released in 2016.
  • The spring 2016 MCAS tests in ELA and Mathematics at grades 3-8 were augmented with a small number of test items developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The PARCC items are not included in the Question Directory for Student Work below, but information about them is located on the Department's MCAS Test Questions Web page.
  • MCAS ELA assessments have traditionally included a Composition test at grades 4, 7, and 10. In 2016, the Department decided to eliminate the ELA Composition test in grades 4 and 7. This decision was based on the fact that all MCAS ELA test forms in grades 3-8 included a PARCC narrative writing task in 2016. The Composition test for grade 10 was administered as usual in March 2016.

For more information see: Using This Online Tool

Question Directory for Student Work

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 10

High School

Main Question Directory for Student Work



Last Updated: October 13, 2017

This page is designed to offer parents and students accurate and helpful information about the upcoming MCAS 2.0 (Next-Generation) assessments.  Please be aware that some of the resources you will be directed to are PARCC testing resources.  The reason for this is that Pearson Corporation helped design the state assessments.  Included on this page will be important dates, schedules, practice tests, and other relevant resources to keep all stakeholders informed.  If there are any other resources that you would like presented on this page, please send me an email and I will do all I can to accommodate your request.

TESTING SCHEDULES

The following table indicates the testing window dates for the 2018 elementary MCAS 2.0.

     ELA Testing Window                     TBD 
     Math Testing Window                       TBD
     Science/Technology Testing Window (Grade 5)                      TBD

The table below indicates the scheduled testing days at Frederick Harris.  Please check this schedule often as we get closer to testing times.

2018 MCAS Schedule for Frederick Harris School

April- MCAS

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
     TBD

May- MCAS

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
     TBD


TEST DESIGN and QUESTION TYPES

Mathematics

In addition to multiple-choice, short-answer, and open-response questions, the next-generation Mathematics tests will include questions with different point values, as well as technology-enhanced questions for students taking computer-based tests

Question Type

Total Points

Grade Levels

Multiple Choice
Students select one correct answer from among several answer options.

1

Grades 3–8

Multiple Select
Students select more than one correct answer from among several answer options.

1

Grades 3–8

Short Answer/Fill-in-the-Blank
Students construct a short written response, typically only a word or a number.

1

Grades 3–8

Technology Enhanced
Students answer questions using technology such as drag-and-drop or hot spot (on the computer based test only).

1 or 2

Grades 3–5

Open Response
Students write a response to a multi-part item that includes answers and explanations to all parts.

2 or 3

3 or 4

Grade 3

Grades 4–8

Operational Test Design by Grade

On the operational portion of the test, students will complete a range of item types depending on grade level.

Grade

Number of
1- Point Questions

(includes Multiple-choice, multiple-select, short answer/fill-in-the-blank, or technology-enhanced)

Number of
2-point Questions

( includes Multiple-choice, multiple-select, short answer/fill-in-the-blank, or technology-enhanced)

Number of
4-point Questions

( includes Multiple-choice, multiple-select, short answer/fill-in-the-blank, or technology-enhanced)

Number of Open Response Questions

3

34

2

0

4

4

32

4

0

4

5

32

4

0

4

2017 MCAS Mathematics Reporting Categories

Grade

Reporting Category

Percentage (+/- 5%)

Total Number of Points

3

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

33%

15–16

Number & Operations in Base Ten

15%

7–8

Number & Operations-Fractions

15%

7–8

Measurement & Data

25%

12

Geometry

12%

5–6

4

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

25%

13–14

Number & Operations in Base Ten

20%

10–11

Number & Operations-Fractions

20%

10–11

Measurement & Data

20%

10–11

Geometry

15%

8

5

Operations & Algebraic Thinking

20%

10–11

Number & Operations in Base Ten

25%

13–14

Number & Operations-Fractions

25%

13–14

Measurement & Data

20%

10–11

Geometry

10%

5–6

English Language Arts

Question Types

In addition to multiple-choice questions, the next-generation ELA tests will include questions that assess writing at all grades, as well as technology-enhanced questions for students taking computer-based tests

Question Type

Total Points

Domain Assessed

Grade Levels

Multiple Choice
Students select the correct answer(s) from among several answer options.

1 or 2

Reading Comprehension

Grades 3-8

Technology Enhanced
Students taking the computer-based test answer questions using technology such as drag-and-drop or hot spot.

2

Reading Comprehension

Grades 3-8

Short Response
Students construct a short written response, approximately the length of a paragraph.

3

Reading Comprehension

Grades 3 and 4

Narrative Essay*
Students write an essay in response to text they have read. See below for information about length of response.

12-15

Writing

Grades 3-8

Text-Based Essays
Students write an essay in response to text(s) they have read. See below for information about length of response.

7

Reading Comprehension and Writing

Grades 3-5

Operational Test Design by Grade

ELA

On the operational portion of the test, students will read three passage sets and answer the associated questions; each passage set will include a single passage or a passage pairing.

Grade

Number of
1- Point Questions

(Multiple-choice)

Number of
2-point Questions

(Multiple-choice or technology-enhanced)

Number of
Short Responses

Number of Essays
(includes Narrative and Text-Based Essays)

3

18

4

1

2

4

18

4

1

2

5

18

4

0

3

Helping Your Child At Home The following are suggested links to websites and resources that may assist your child in preparing for MCAS 2.0.  In addition, your child’s teacher will also spend time throughout year exposing your child to sample questions, passages, and practice tests so that they are prepared to participate in the spring testing sessions.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Systems Home Page http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/

ELA Test Design http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/tdd/ela.html?section=testdesign

Mathematics Test Design http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/tdd/math.html?section=testdesign

PARCC Resources PARCC information for Parents http://www.parcconline.org/resources/parent-resources

PARCC released items https://prc.parcconline.org/assessments/parcc-released-items

PARCC Test Tutorials https://parcc.pearson.com/tutorial/

PARCC Sample Items Using Computer-Based Tools https://parcc.pearson.com/sample-items/

Keyboarding Resources: BBC – Bitesize Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr

e-learning for kids http://www.e-learningforkids.org/computer-skills/

Sense~Lang.org http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/

FreeTypingGame.net http://www.freetypinggame.net/

Practice Using Technology Enhanced Items http://nextgen.apps.sparcc.org/

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