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SMCPS Testing Information Google Site (Maryland State testing - MCAP, AP, SAT, PSAT)

Access (for English Language Learners)

When: January - February

Who: Students in grades Kindergarten-12

Description: ACCESS is an English language proficiency assessment given to those students in kindergarten through 12th grade who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). 

Advanced Placement Tests (AP)

AP exams are administered in May.

AP exams are college level courses/exams administered to students in the AP courses to earn advanced standing or credit at most high schools and universities. 

Who: Students in grades 9 - 12

More information on AP courses can be found HERE.

American College Testing (ACT)

The ACT assesses student academic readiness for colleges and universities and is used for admission by colleges and universities. It tests knowledge of English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. The writing portion is optional. 

When: September, October, December, February, April, and June.

Info can be found HERE.

Who: Students in grades 11 -12

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

The ASVAB is a test for high school students taken when they are in 10th, 11th, and/or 12th grade. Although the ASVAB may sound like a military test alone, the ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success. The ASVAB is a test that consists of eight individual tests, including general science, arithmetic, reading, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information, and mechanical comprehension. The ASVAB test isn’t just an evaluation of those interested in the military, but also for students interested in learning more about their abilities and what occupations and careers they might consider pursuing in the near future.

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)

When: September

Who: Kindergarten Students (Random Sampling)

Description: The KRA is an assessment that combines age-appropriate, standardized performance tasks that measure specific skills, as well as, focused observations of children's work and play to determine what each student knows and is able to do when entering kindergarten. The assessment measures readiness in four developmental domains. These domains are social foundations, physical well-being and motor development, language and literacy, and mathematics. The KRA provides a snapshot of kindergarten readiness levels, making it possible to confidently determine if entering students have the skills and behaviors needed to succeed in kindergarten. It also highlights what early childhood educators, families, and communities can do to improve children’s readiness.

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP)

Who: Students in Grades 3-10.

When: April-June

Description: The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) covers state and federally-mandated assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Government, and Kindergarten Readiness.  MCAP also includes Alternate Assessments for select students. 

Students participate in four required subject area tests:

  • MCAP Algebra/Data Analysis
  • MCAP English 10
  • American Government
  • Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

Assessment graduation requirements:

Students graduating in 2020-2021 school year must have:

  • Participated in the MISA
  • Pass the American Government Assessment
  • Pass MCAP Algebra I
  • Pass MCAP English 10

Maryland High School Assessment For American Government (HSA)

When: January, May, and June

Who: High school students upon completion of high school American Government courses

Description: HSA is an end-of-course test that measures progress toward Maryland’s High School Core Learning Goals (CLGs) in American Government. All students enrolled in the American Government course are required to take the HSA upon completion of the course. All students are required to take and pass the HSA to receive a Maryland High School Diploma, including students in special education, English language learners (ELLs), and students with 504 plans.


When: October 

Who: High School Students in Grades 9-11

Description: The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a practice version of the SAT exam. You can take the PSAT once per year and it is offered free to all SMCPS students in grades 9-11.  If you earn a high score on the PSAT as an 11th grade student, you could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship (NMSQT). More info can be found HERE.

Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

When: March

Who: Students in grades 5, 8, and high school

Description: The MISA measures student achievement on the Maryland State Science Standards (MSS) in grade 5 (testing content from grades 3, 4, and 5), grade 8 (testing content from grades 6, 7 and 8), and high school either grade 10 or 11 dependent upon course of study (testing content from Life, Earth, and Physical Science). MARYLAND 

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The SAT assesses student academic readiness for college and is used for admission by colleges and universities. It tests knowledge of Critical Reading, Writing and Mathematics. 

When: October, November, December, January, March, May, and June

Who: Students in grades 11 and 12

More info can be found HERE.