Alternate Maryland Integrated Science Assessment – Alt-MISA



Grade levels

5, 8, 11

About the test

The Alternate Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (Alt-MISA), also known as Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for whom the general education science assessment (MISA) is not appropriate, even with accommodations.  The Alt-MISA is based on alternate achievement standards which have been derived from and are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Students who take the Alt-MISA assessments are instructed and assessed on Essential Elements (EEs).  EEs are grade-level- specific expectations about what students with the most significant cognitive disabilities should know and be able to do.  Each science EE has three linkage levels which specify where a student is in relationship to the grade level target.  The target linkage level is the highest, while the other two linkage levels (initial and precursor) are lower in complexity, depth, and breadth.

The Alt-MISA is an online, stage adaptive, assessment comprised of 9 “testlets” for each grade level assessed.  Each testlet is completed in one setting and consists of an engagement activity and three to five test items.  Each testlets covers one EE.  Each engagement activity is designed to motivate students, provide a context, and activate prior knowledge.  All test items are in a multiple choice format.

Standards being assessed

Essential Elements

Accommodations information

Accessibility Manual

Assessment results

To see how students performed on Alt-MISA go to

Practice and Released Testlets

Guide to Practice Activities & Released Testlets Science

Quick Links