Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Social Studies

About the Assessment

The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) Social Studies assessments are administered to all students in eighth grade and high school. These assessments are aligned to the Maryland Social Studies Standards. A complete list of all standards, indicators, objectives, and assessment limits can be found in the Middle School United States History and American Government Frameworks.

The More Learning, Less Testing Act of 2017 requires that the social studies assessments “consist of criterion-referenced, performance-based tasks that require students to utilize critical and historical thinking skills and analyze primary sources.” This new performance-based item type is referred to as an Evidence Based Argument Set (EBAS).

The EBAS assesses three skills and processes from the Maryland Social Studies Standard 6.0: Skills and Processes. These skills are:

  • Evaluate the credibility of the sources by considering the authority, origin, type, context, and corroborative value of each source.

  • Identify credible, relevant information contained in the sources.

  • Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.

The EBAS is organized around a compelling question and provides students with multiple sources. The EBAS has multiple items that collectively assess the skills and processes selected from Standard 6.0.

Specific Information about MCAP Social Studies 8

The Evidence Based Argument Set (EBAS) will assess the student’s historical thinking skills and processes. The set includes an overarching, compelling question, background information, and source-based evidence including important details regarding the sourcing information. Using this information, students will answer a total of five 2-point and one 4-point constructed response items.

The content outlined in the Middle School United States History Framework will be assessed equally across Units 2-6. Unit 1 (Colonization) and Unit 7 (Growth of Industrial America) are bridge units from other courses and are not assessed on MCAP.

Specific Information about MCAP American Government

The MCAP American Government assessment is an end of course exam given at the conclusion of the high school American Government course.


Social Studies 8

American Government


Social Studies 8

American Government

Test Preparation and Practice

The following links provide resources that can help students prepare for the MCAP Social Studies Assessments:

Additional Resources


Miriam Bart
Project Manager for Social Studies Assessments

Office: (410) 767-2845