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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 is not just an evaluation of those interested in the military, but it is 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

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 required tests in four subject areas:

  • 3rd - 8th grade math and  Algebra/Data Analysis (or Geometry or Algebra II)
  • 3rd - 8th grade English/Language Arts and English 10
  • 8th grade social studies and American Government 
  • 5th and 8th grade science and Life Science/Biology

Assessment requirements for graduation:

The following courses have assessment requirements for graduation:  Algebra/Data Analysis (or other high school math course), English 10, American Government, and Biology. 

Students who passed test associated courses in the 2019-2020 school year received waivers from the course associated assessment requirements for graduation. 

For courses taken in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, students must both pass the assessed course(s) and particpate in the associated assessment(s).

Maryland High School Assessment For American Government (HSA)

When: May - June

Who: High school students upon completion of American Government course

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. .

Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA)

When: March - June  (depending on grade level)

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 (testing content from a life science/Biology course)


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. Students can take the PSAT once per year, and it is offered free of charge to all SMCPS students in grades 9-11.  Students who earn a high score on the PSAT as 11th graders could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship. More info can be found HERE.

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.