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.
The Maryland Modified High School Assessments (Mod-HSA) are a series of end-of-course tests that cover the core academic areas of Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, and English. The Mod-HSAs are Modified Assessments based on On-level Academic Content Standards and Modified Academic Achievement Standards. The Mod-HSA tests are alternates to the tests in the Maryland High School Assessment (HSA) program and are designed for students with disabilities who, based on a decision-making process undertaken by their IEP Team, meet specific eligibility criteria. These criteria are outlined in Section 3 and Appendix B of the Maryland Accommodations Manual, Document ID 200802. The Mod-HSA tests are intended to meet the testing requirements for high school graduation as well as the high school testing requirements for English/Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
Maryland general education and special education teachers play a vital role in developing the Mod-HSA tests. Maryland educators are involved in selecting stimulus materials for the tests, writing test items, and reviewing test items for content accuracy, difficulty, appropriateness for the target population of Mod-HSA testers, and fairness.
The tests consist of Selected Response (SR) items only. There are no constructed response items, which require written responses, on the Mod-HSA tests. The SR items have either THREE answer choices (about 3/4 of the test items on each form) or FOUR answer choices (about 1/4 of the test items on each form). The Mod-HSA will be administered either by computer ("Online" testing) or by paper and pencil ("Paper" testing).
When are the tests given?
Online tests are administered according to a flexible administration schedule set by each LEA within the overall State-mandated HSA testing window. Check with your STC or LAC for the specific MSDE-approved online Mod-HSA testing schedule to be followed in your school or LEA.
The Mod-HSA test forms for all contents consist of three sessions with approximately 30–35 items in each session. The timing of each session is outlined specifically in each content area Examiner's Manual, but generally the sessions each comprise about one hour of testing time. Because of the length of the sessions, the Mod-HSA tests may need to be administered such that one or more sessions are administered prior to a lunch break, and one or more sessions are administered after a lunch break. For example, the schedule (for either Online or Paper) may need to be set such that students take Session 1, have a 5-minute break, take Session 2, have a lunch break, and then take Session 3. Online or Paper Test-takers without an extended time accommodation must complete all three sessions of each content area test over the course of a single school day.