Testing & Assessment FAQs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 .