Anne Arundel County Public Schools
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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.

High School Assessment (HSA)

Maryland HSA site

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 School Assessment (MSA)

Maryland MSA site     

As a 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 begins.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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.

Preliminary 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.

Advanced Placement (AP)

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.

Stanford Achievement Test 

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 College Board website or call the Guidance Office at 410-222-5280.

Counts Since 7/11/06 
as of 7/11/06