High school assessments are a test of a student's knowledge of Core Learning Goals contained in certain course content areas. The tests will be given after the student completes a course containing the Core Learning Goals. In 2013 Students are required to take tests in English, Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, and Government.
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The Maryland High School Assessments (HSA) are tests that measure school and individual student progress toward Maryland's High School Core Learning Goals in in English, Algebra/Data Analysis, Government and Biology. Passing the HSA is a graduation requirement. Students take each test whenever they complete the course. For example, some students may take Algebra in seventh grade while others may not take it until tenth grade. The tests contain multiple-choice questions and questions requiring written responses. These questions are based on the content outlined in Maryland's Core Learning Goals. More information on the Core Learning Goals and sample test questions are available at mdk12.org/assessments/high_school/look_like/.
The Government HSA was reinstated with the 2012-2013 school year and students enrolled in the Government course must take the Government HSA. Students entering 9th grade in the 2012-2013 school year or in a prior year do not need to pass the Government HSA but, may choose to use the score to meet testing requirements by means of the combined score option for a combined score. Resources have been developed to help students prepare for the Government HSA including public release and sample assessment items. Theses resources can also assist teachers with designing appropriate formative and summative assessments for their students.
Within nine weeks after testing, the scoring company sends students' scores to the local school system. The local school system then sends the scores to parents. Scores for schools, school systems, and the state are published annually in mid-August on the Web at http://www.mdreportcard.org.
Students' scores are reported as scale scores. Maryland uses a scale score to provide a more precise measurement of a student's achievement and to assure that tests given at different times are comparable. Students'scores can range from 240 to 650 on the scale. Local school systems place students' HSA performance on the students' official records.