​2021 Early Fall Assessments

Overview of Early Fall Assessments

As part of continued COVID-19 recovery efforts, the Maryland State Department of Education is conducting an early fall student assessment as one of several strategies to identify how students are performing academically. The results will help educators better understand student needs, so that we can address disrupted education and accelerate learning opportunities for all students. These results never stand alone in assessing student growth, and will be used in combination with other assessments and class work to gauge overall student performance. 

What is MCAP? 

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) is the overarching term used for all state assessments. MSDE will administer assessments in the Early Fall for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L), Mathematics, and Science (Maryland Integrated Science AssessmentMISA), as well as the Alternate Assessments in ELA, Mathematics and Science, and the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA). The MCAP also includes assessments in Social Studies and the ACCESS for ELLs assessment for English language learners. 

What is different this year? 

SHORTER ASSESSMENTS

Each Early Fall assessment is a shorter version of the traditional ELA/L, Mathematics, and MISA assessments which will measure how well students performed in content presented during the last school year (2020-2021). Students will take the assessment for the grade or course in which they were enrolled last Spring when the assessment was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example: a current 4th grader will take the 3rd grade English Language Arts/ Literacy (ELA/L) or Mathematics test, and a current 9th grader would take the 8th grade MISA assessment.

COVID-19 WAIVER

High school students who were enrolled in an ELA/L 10, Algebra I or High School Science course last year and take the shorter Early Fall assessment will not be required to pass the assessment to meet Maryland’s graduation requirements. Additionally, during the 2021-2022 school year, students enrolled in an ELA/L 10, Algebra I, Biology or Life Science, or Government course will be required to take, yet not required to pass, the current assessments for graduation. Students must pass the respective course. 

NO TESTS FOR 3RD GRADERS DURING THE EARLY FALL ASSESSMENTS 

Students in 3rd grade will not test since it is content from the prior year that will be assessed.


Early Fall Testing Schedule for MCAP 

SEPTEMBER 13 – OCTOBER 22 

English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L), Mathematics, Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA) 

  •  ELA/L Grades 3–8 & 10 
  •  Mathematics Grades 3–8, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II 
  • MISA Grades 5 & 8, and High School

SEPTEMBER 13 – OCTOBER 29 

Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessments 

  • ELA and Mathematics Grades 3–8 & 11 -
  • Science Grades 5, 8 and 11 

AUGUST 2 – OCTOBER 10
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)