How to Pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Exam

Exam Structure and Content

The MCAS test for grade 3-8 and 10 is in English, Language Arts and Mathematics.  The test for grades 5, 8, 9, and 10 also contains science and technology/engineering, and the test for grades 5, 7, 10 and 11 contains history and social sciences.

The MCAS has four different types of questions. All the questions in the test are multiple choice format except the ELA Composition tests. Students are to choose one answer among four given options. These questions are machine scored.

The mathematics section includes short answer questions. Students are required to give a short numerical answer or a brief statement in response. Tips for short answer fill in the blank questions.

The MCAS tests also include open-response questions. Here, students are asked to generate their own responses in the form of one- or two-paragraphs with charts and tables, illustrations, or graphs as required.  Each question is worth up to four points.

The writing prompts questions require students to respond by creating a written composition. The compositions are scored on two criteria.  Students are scored based on a six-score point scale for topic development, and they receive from 2 to 12 points (the sum of scores from each of the two scorers) in the test. Students are scored based on a four-point scale for Standard English usage, receiving between 2 to 8 points (the sum of the scores from each of the two scorers). See our Ultimate Guide to Essay Questions.

Student must pass both portions of the test in Grade 10 in order to graduate.

Study Tips and Test Preparation

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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Practice Test Questions

Practice Test Questions

Increase your Score on the Massachusetts Comprehensive assessment System (MCAS)

MCAS Study Guide

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MCAS Study Guide