Testing Programs

Local Testing Programs

FCPS uses a variety of tools and instructional strategies to observe and analyze how students are performing on their enrolled grade-level curriculum. Curricular expectations are monitored formally and informally through assessments, quizzes, assignments and conferencing with students about their progress. Based on these measures, instruction is modified and refined to support student needs towards mastery of Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. Local assessment includes required and optional assessments that teachers select to assist with identifying and closing gaps in achievement, ensuring equity in instruction and informing strategies to increase performance across all student groups. For details, please see Regulation 500-26.**

State Testing Programs

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) encompasses all state assessments and is designed to provide information that helps strengthen instruction and improve performance so that graduates are ready to move into the workforce or postsecondary studies.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) is administered to kindergartners, measuring school readiness in four developmental domains: social foundations, physical well-being and motor development, language and literacy, and mathematics. The KRA identifies children’s individual needs, enabling teachers to make informed instructional decisions.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

PARCC assessments are designed to measure whether students are on track to be ready for college and careers. They are given in English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3-8 and in designated high school courses. Taking the PARCC Algebra I and English 10 exams is required for graduation; passing scores have been required since the 2016-17 school year.

Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

The Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) is designed to meet federal testing requirements for grades 5, 8 and 10. MISA exams measure content aligned to Maryland science standards. To meet the grade 10 requirement, students will typically take this exam at the conclusion of their high school Biology course. Taking the high school MISA exam is required for graduation.

Alternative Assessments

The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) and Alternate Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (Alt. MISA) are designed to measure academic content that is aligned to and derived from Maryland content standards. They support academic outcomes for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The MSAA is administered in English/language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8 and 11. The Alt. MISA is administered in science in grades 5, 8 and 11.

Government High School Assessment (HSA)

The Government HSA is a state-level, end-of-course exam aimed at raising academic standards and preparing graduates to compete in the workplace and post-secondary education. High school students enrolled in Government must take the exam at the completion of the course. Taking and passing the HSA is a graduation requirement.

English Language Proficiency Assessment

English language proficiency assessments are administered to English learners in grades kindergarten through 12 upon their entry into the school system and annually during a testing window in the second semester. The assessments measure a student’s English language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, comprehension and literacy. See pages 30-31 of the 2018-2019 Calendar Handbook.

Test Dates for State Assessments

Schools select test dates from within allowable state- and FCPS-determined windows. FCPS posts the Testing Calendar online, and schools communicate their testing dates to parents/guardians. **

National Testing Programs

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

AP is a program of college-level courses available at all high schools. National exams administered by the College Board allow students to potentially earn college credit for high scores. FCPS strongly urges students to challenge themselves by taking AP classes and the exams. Students may use scores on select exams to meet College and Career Readiness requirements.

College Entrance Exams

FCPS offers opportunities for high school students to take the optional SAT and ACT examinations as well as the PSAT, a preliminary exam. Registration and other college-entrance information are available in high school counseling offices and online. Registration deadlines are typically a month before the test date. Students may use scores on select subtests of the SAT and ACT exams to meet College and Career Readiness requirements.

*FCPS will administer a schoolday SAT for 11th grade students only.
**Dates apply to the 2019-20 school year.

Test dates for 2019-20 are:

August 24 October 16 September 14
October 5   October 26
November 2   December 14
December 7   February 8
March 14 (SAT I only)   April 4
March 25*   June 13
May 2   July 18
June 6    


Changes in Data Reporting: FCPS is making changes to the reporting of data in order to ensure compliance with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) prohibits the release of individually identifiable information to the public. Beginning in 2011, FCPS will implement necessary limits on publicly released data in accordance with FERPA guidelines and direction from the Maryland State Department of Education. The changes are designed to maximize the information provided to the public while also protecting the privacy of small identifiable groups of students.