FAQs(Frequently Asked Questions)

Our FAQs contain an assembled set of questions and corresponding answers addressing topics of common interest to the Turning Point community.If you have questions that should be added please feel free to use our contact us page and form to submit them.

Testing & Assessment FAQs

What is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)?

The computer adaptive is a form of computer-based testing that has  software that monitors the response to every question and “adapts” to the student’s ability. That is,if the student misses a question the next question is slightly easier or if the student answers correctly the next question will be slightly harder.

Why Computer Adaptive Tests?

Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT) are dynamically customized for each student and are able to match the knowledge and ability of a test taker. The tests adjust the difficulty of questions based on the student’s response. If a student answers a question correctly, the next question can be made harder; if a student answers incorrectly, the next question can be made easier. The advantage of this is that the tests:

  • provide more reliable information about what students know—especially those at the very low and high ends of the spectrum.
  • give teachers the opportunity to adjust their instruction more quickly based on the results and provide information on what instruction is needed.
  • provide comprehensive assessment, which educators use to determine what students have learned at the end of a unit, term, or year.
  • can be used to identify students who may need specialized academic support in a specific skill or subject area, such reading, writing, or math.

What is the ACCESS for ELLs Primary test?

ACCESS for ELLs is a system of English language proficiency assessments given annually to students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs).

Why ACCESS for ELLs?

ACCESS for Ells test scores are used to monitor student progress in acquiring English for the academic environment, to plan support for continuing English language development, and to satisfy legal requirements for assessment and accountability.

What is DRA?

The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) is a standardized reading test used to determine a student's instructional level in reading. The DRA is administered individually to students by teachers and/or reading specialists.

Why DRA?

The DRA is intended to be used as a diagnostic tool to assess reading levels throughout the school year.

When and to whom are DRA’s administrated?

The DRA is administered to all students in Grades 1-3 during a testing window in September and again in May.

What is MAP

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments are computer adaptive achievement tests in Mathematics and Reading. MAP is a norm-referenced measure of student growth over time. MAP assessments, joined with other data points, provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on his or her unique learning path.

Why MAP?

Prior to the 2017 school year, PGCPS utilized the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) as its district wide interim assessment tool for reading, English, and language arts (RELA). Beginning in the 2017 school year, however, the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) reading assessment tool, Measures of Academic Progress-Reading (MAP-R), replaced the SRI as the interim assessment for RELA.

What is MSA?

Maryland State Assessment (MSA)- The Maryland School Assessment (MSA) is a test administered to students in third through eighth grade. The test covers reading, math and eventually science for the higher grades.

Why MSA?

This test allows parents, teachers, administrators, other educators and the public to see how well students and schools in the state of Maryland are performing. Details about MSA can be found here.

What is PARCC?

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states that brought teachers, administrators and experts together to develop tests to measure how well students understand and are able to apply the skills and knowledge required by the new standards. For information on PARCC goto the PGCPS website page "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC)  ".


The tests are designed to provide educators with a deeper understanding of how students learn. PARCC helps teachers and parents determine if younger students are acquiring skills and knowledge needed to advance to the next grade level, while older students can see if they are on track to graduate, ready for college and careers.

Who takes the PARCC test?

Students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are given the new assessments. These tests, aligned to the new standards,mark a major step forward for education in Maryland.

How are the PARCC tests administered?

The PARCC tests are structured to be taken online for a more interactive test experience, but can also be taken with pencil and paper. See PARCC online or download the document Top Things Parents Need to Know about Testing in Maryland .

What are SLO Pre/Post tests?

SLOs are content-specific, grade level learning objectives that are measure able, focused on growth in student learning, and aligned to curriculum standards. As a measure of teachers’ impact on student learning, SLOs give educators, school systems, and state leaders an additional means by which to understand, value, and recognize success in the classroom.

Why SLO?

The primary purpose of SLOs is to improve student learning at the classroom level and to provide evidence of each teacher’s instructional impact on student learning.

What is SMI?

The Scholastic Math Inventory, SMI, is a tool for assessing math skill and progress.

Why SMI?

The results of the test can be used to measure how well students understand, and are likely to be successful with, various grade-appropriate mathematical skills and topics.

What is SRI?

The SRI or Scholastic Reading Inventory is a “computer adaptive” reading comprehension test designed to measure how well students read literature and expository texts of varying difficulties.

Why SRI?

These assessments provide a measure of student achievement and growth and allow the school to compare student, class and grade level performance with other students’ performance from around the country.



Turning Point Academy
4815 Dalton Street
Camp Springs, 20748



School Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Doors open at 7:45 a.m. each day.
Instruction starts at 8:15 a.m