Student's take a variety of
tests during their years in public school, including state-mandated
achievement tests, assessments required for grade promotion and graduation
from high school, college level exams related to advanced placement studies,
and scholastic aptitude tests required for college admission.
A student's academic performance is based on more than test results,
however, test and assessment results are vital to monitoring student
progress, as well as evaluating and improving instruction and curricula to
ensure student success.
Students enrolled in
English 10, Biology, Algebra, and U.S.
Government will take the High School Assessments at
the end of each of these courses. These tests are
traditional paper-and-pencil assessments that
include multiple choice, short answer, and essay
items. Intended to raise expectations for all high
school students, the HSA measures achievement in the
Core Learning Goals that have been set by the
Maryland State Board of Education, and students must
currently take these tests as a requirement for high
school graduation. Beginning 2005-06, students
entering grade 9 will be required to pass these
tests as a graduation requirement. Because of this
individual student accountability, schools have made
changes not only in the curriculum they teach, but
also in how instruction is delivered.
Maryland MSA site
result of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
legislation, students in grades 3 through 8 and
grade 10 attending public schools in Maryland are
administered annually the Maryland School
Assessments. These tests are designed to measure
student, school, county, and statewide achievement
in the areas of reading and mathematics.
The High School Assessments in
Algebra and English 10 also fulfill
the requirement under NCLB that high school students
be administered on an annual basis an assessment in
mathematics and English. The High School
Assessment in biology will fulfill the requirement
for a high school science test by the spring of
2008. Looking ahead, tests in science will also be
required by the spring of 2008 in grades 5 and
8. These new tests will produce individual student
scores and results that will be forwarded home
annually to parents before the new school year
Since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was signed, Maryland education officials have been
working to implement the new law. To meet the
requirements of the new law, the Maryland State
Department of Education over the past several years
has developed new statewide tests for grades 3
through 8 and grade 10 in reading and mathematics
and a new test in grade 10.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and
Scholastic Aptitute Test (SAT I)
In addition to the
above state-mandated assessments, high school
students may opt to take a number of different tests
offered by the College Board, such as the PSAT which
can qualify students for scholarships and prepare
them for the SAT I, which is normally taken by
college-bound students in grades 10, 11, or 12.
Both of these tests measure student performance in
language usage, writing, reading, and mathematics.
The SAT I is used by colleges as one of several
admissions requirements. Check with your local high
school guidance office for PSAT and SAT testing
dates. Please note that a preparatory course for
the SAT I is currently offered in all high schools.
The College Board describes the SAT I as a test of
reasoning that measures critical reading, writing,
and mathematical reasoning skills students have
developed over time and need to be successful
academically. It is characterized as the best
available independent, standardized measure of a
studentís college readiness.
High school students may also opt to take AP
exams in specific subjects such as English, foreign
language, chemistry, history, calculus, and fine
arts, and may receive college credit at some colleges
and universities if they score well on these tests.
Students can take AP exams in a number of different
areas including foreign language, mathematics,
science, art, and music.
In order to help
schools identify studentís strengths and
weaknesses in reading and mathematics in the
primary grades, the Stanford Achievement
Test, is administered annually to students
in grade 2. Results from this
nationally norm-referenced test compare
student performance with national norms and
allows parents and teachers to compare
student achievement with other students
nationally. Studentsí strengths and
weakness in specific content knowledge and
skills are also measured on this test.
For further information on PSAT,
SAT, and AP exams, visit the
Board website or call the Guidance Office at
as of 7/11/06